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RAMBLES 

IN 

GERMANY AND ITALY, 

IN 

1840, 1842, AND 1843, 


BY 

MRS. SHELLEY. 


LONDON: 

EDWARD MOXON, DOVER STREET. 


KDCCCXLIV. 




CONTENTS. 

I’AliT I11.--1812 AND 43. 

LKlTliU 1. 

!'U.\Ot'K .......... 1 

LKTTEH IT.. 

lUU.CIlRN.—BUDWEIS.—LINZ.. . 10 

LETTER III. 

TIIK TkAt'N.—TIIKOMUNDEN'SKK.—ISHL.—ST. WOLFUANtt LAKE. 

— SALZBUIU;.22 

LETTER IV. 

ENTRANCE TO THE TIROL.—VILLAGE FETE.—PASS STRUfl.- 

SWART/.. — INSPUVCK . • . . • . . 37 

LETTER V. 

THE PASS OF THF. BRKNNKJl. — IIOKKII.—IlttESSANONE.—EGRA.— 
TRENT. — RIVA. —LAGO DI GARDA. >—PiU>MONTOKY OF 
SlUUlO . . . . . . . . » 4 $ 





VI 


CONTENTS. 


LETTER VI. ' 

TEBOMA. — JODBNEY TO VENICE. — LEONE BUNCO. 
C’lTALU 


TAGK 


HOTEL 

. . 74 


LETTER VII. 

THE DCCAL PALACE.—THE ACCADEHIA DELLE BELLE ABTI . P2 

LETTER vm. 

CntESA DE’ FKAEI.—SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE.— SANTA MARIA 
DELLA SALUTE.—LIDO.—THE GIODECCA.—THE FONDA- 
MBNTI NDOVI.—THE ISLANDS.—THE ARMENIAN CONVENT 92 

LETTER IX. 

FREE PORT.—VENETIAN SOCIETY.—TITLES OK THE NOBILITY.— 

THE DOTTI.—INFANT SCHOOL. 103 


LETTER X. 

VENETIAN PALACES.—GONOOLIEBI.—BASILICA OP ST. HARK.— 

OPERA.—ILLUMINATION OP THE VENICE . . . . 119 

LETTER XI. 

JOURNEY TO FLORENCE.—COLD AND RAINY SEASON.—EXCUR¬ 
SION TO VALLOHDROSA.131 


IJITTER Xll. 

ART AT FLORENCE.—COSIMO BOSSELLI.—GHIRLANDAJO.—BEATO 

PRA ANGELICO.—POCCEITl LATER FLORENTINE SCHOOL 140 


LETTER xm. 

THE GALLERY.—PALAZZO PITTI.—LE BELLE ABTI.—PORTRAIT 

OP DANTE.—THE CHURCHES.152 


LETTER XIV. 


THE CABBONARl 


161 





CONTENTS. VU 

■ LETTER XV. „„ 

Ti;gCANY. 181 

• 0 

LETTER XVI. 

ITALIAN LITERATURE.—UANZONI. — NICCULINI.—COLLETTA.— 

AHARI. 190 

LETTER XVIl. 

VOVA(!K TO ROME .. 212 

LETTER XVIII. 

RAFFAELLE AT UOHF.. 216 

LET,TER XIX. 

RUINS OF ROME.—THE ROLY WEEK.—MUSIC AND ILLUMINA¬ 
TIONS . 225 

LETTER XX. 

THE WINTIFICAL STATES. 234 

CHAPTER XXI. 

INSURRECTION OF 1831, AND OCCUPATION OF ANCONA BY 
THE FRENCH. 249 

LETTER XXII. 

SORRENTO—CAPRI.—POMPEII. 262 

LETTER XXIII. 

EXCURSION TO AMALFI. 280 











RAMBLES 


IN 

GERMANY AND ITALY. 


PART III.—1842. 

LETTER I. 

PRAGUE. 

TnuKSDAT, 1st September, 1842. 
Stkange and wild legends appertain to Prague, 
and people the heights that overhang the city. The 
Bohemians are of Sclavonian race; they were in 
early times fire-worshippers, and offered victims to 
their divinity on the Laurenzi Berg, which rises 
behind the town. On the Hradschin, an eminence 
that frowns above the Moldau, was built the palace 
of the old Bohemian kings; and the metropolitan 
church of Prague stands in the palace-yard, on the 
highest point of the imperial hill. 

The most prosperous period for Prague was the 
reign of the Emperor Charles IV. He appears in 
vot. II. B 



RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


no favourable light in the pages of Italian history; 
but he won immortal and deserved renown as King 
of Bohemia, by his acts of magnificence, and the 
liberality and sagacity of his government. He caused 
the Neustadt to be built, marking the width and 
termination of the streets, and leaving the spaces to 
be filled up by private individuals, on whom great 
privileges were bestowed: the size of the streets and 
open areas interspersed, give it a noble distinc¬ 
tion among the ill-built towns of the middle ages. 
Churches and convents rose around. He built also the 
grand'old Bridge, which sjlans the broad and curved 
stream of the Moldau, and he founded the Uni¬ 
versity, which long vied with Paris and Oxford in 
celebrity. 

The earliest Reformers sprung up in Prague. John 
Huss was rector of the University: his tenets were 
the source of that independent and Protestant spirit 
which then first began to undermine the Roman 
Catholic faith. In early times, the Church of 
Bohemia obtained from the Council of Basle, that 
the sacramental cup should be administered to the 
laity; and this of itself was a broad distinction between 
Catholic Bohemia and the rest of the Papal world. 

Although John Huss died at the stake, his 
influence continued high in his country, where he 
was reverenced as a saint. The Bohemians, loving 



AND ITALY. 


3 


their own. language and their own customs—a saga¬ 
cious and intelligent race—^were well pleased with any 
state of things that should conduce to separate them 
more widely from the surrounding German nations. 

The time came w'hen they were to fall. When 
the rest of Europe was in darkness'and enslaved, 
Bohemia had a pure religion and free institutions: 
now it is but a province of Austria, and there are not 
one hundred Protestants in the country. The Em¬ 
peror Mathias first endeavoured to ujiroot its liberty, 
and the Jesuits had been established, to counter¬ 
balance, by their insidiohs system of encroachment, 
the influence openly possessed by the Protestants. 
This state of things could not last. The Emperor 
supported Catholicism, and wished to assimilate 
Bohemia to his Austrian provinces in language, laws 
and religion: the national Diet endeavoured to pre¬ 
serve their country as a distinct kingdom. The 
Emperor insisted on naming his successor, in the 
person of his brother Perdinand: the crown had 
hitherto been elective, and the nobles resolved to 
preserve their rights. On the death of Mathias, they 
called to the throne the Elector Palatine, a Calvinist: 
the Emperor Perdinand claimed the country as his 
own, and invaded it. 

Pot one year, Elizabeth of England held a gay and 
chivalrous couit in Prague. Had her husband been 

B 2 



4 RAMBIES IN GERMANY 

a statesman and a soldier, he might have disciplined 
his brave, enthusiastic subjects, and have repulsed 
the invasion of Austria. He was vanquished in- 
gloriously, and, forced to fly from the city, he became 
a wanderer and an exile. Ferdinand triumphed; 
but a collision between his pretensions and the free 
institutions of Bohemia was inevitable. The nobles 
resisted the Emperor^s edicts, and tossed his commis¬ 
sioners out of the Avindows of the Green Chamber of 
the palace. This act was the first deed of violence 
of the thirty years’ war, which hence began, nor ended 
till all Germany was devastated, andBohemia enslaved. 

We set out on a biief drive round the town, to 
view the spots where these scenes had taken place. 
Leaving our hotel, we pas-sed through the crowded 
and trading Alstadt, and crossed the bridge which 
connects the Klein Seite with the city. On this stands 
the statue of St. John Nepomuk, who, the legend says, 
was thrown from that spot into the Moldau below, 
for refusing to betray to Wcnceslaus IV. secrets 
confided to him by his Queen in the confessional, 
A constellation of five stars was observed to hover 
over the watei’, exciting the curiosity and terror of the 
pious; so that at last the river was dragged; the 
body of the saint was found, and received honourable 
interment—^though not canonization until some cen¬ 
turies after. Such is the legend; but the true 



AND ITALY. 


history of this saint, as Mr. Reeve* relates it, differs 
materially, and is curious. He tells us, he perished 
a martyr to church reform:—“ During the contests 
between Wcnceslaus IV. and the then Archbishop of 
Prague (John of Genzstein, afterwards Patriarch of 
Alexandria), with regard to certain matters of church 
property, the prelate was vigorously supported by 
his Vicar-General, Johanko von Pomuk, upon whom 
the King wreaked his vengeance; and the spot is 
still shewn where he was thrown into the river. This 
event took place in 1381, and was soon forgotten by 
the people. Time, however, rolled on; John lluss 
perished in the flames at Constance, and, as' his 
schism was followed by the larger portion of the 
Bohemian nation, St. John Huss became an object 
of poj)ular reverence. I have seen hymns in his 
honour, which were sung in chui'chcs even tow'ards 
the close of the sixteenth centui'y. But when the 
Jesuits were installed at Prague, to extirpate th(! 
Bohemian heresies, they found it useful to have 
a St. John of their own. The legend of St. John 
Nepomuk was invented; his relics were shewn; an 

• In preparing these letters for the press, I have consulted some 
papers entitled “ Sketches of Bohemia and the Selavonism Provinces of 
the Austrian Empire,*’ by Henry Reeve, published in the 

18th and lOih vols. of the Metropolitan Magazine. They are 
admirably written, and it is greatly to be regretted that they do not 
proceed to a greater length, and are lost in a Magazine. 



») RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

epic poem, the Ncpomuccidon, was composed by 
the Jesuit Percicus in his honour in 1729; he was 
canonized, and his fame spread with amazing rapidity 
throughout the Catholic Church. These honours 
arc now so intimately connected with the system in 
which they originated, that I once heard a distin¬ 
guished Bohemian declare that no good could befal 
his country till St. John Nepomuk was once more 
thrown into the Moldau.^’ Meanwhile, he has become 
the guardian saint of bridges; his statue, surmounted 
by the image of the live miraculous stare, in a more 
or less rude form, finds a place on almost every 
bridge of Catholic Germany, as it docs here on the 
Bridge of Prague—on the very spot whence he was 
thrown. 

In the Klein Seite the nobles had their palaces, and 
we saw that of the princely Wallenstein: " coiled as 
it were round the foot of the imperial rock,” * to make 
room for which a hundred humbler houses were 
rased. Wallenstein, who had arrived at mid life in 
comparative obscurity, first came forward in a con¬ 
spicuous manner in the Bohemian war. His immense 
riches were principally derived fi’om the confiscations 
of the expelled and exiled Hussites. When some 
years after his command was taken from him, he 
built this palace, where he lived in princely gran- 


* Mr. Reeve. 



AND ITALY. 


dfiur, feeding liis imagination with dreams of yet 
higher glory, ministered to him by Seni the astro¬ 
loger. It was in early life, during his residence at 
the University of Padua, that Wallenstein first heard 
from the Professor Argoh that the stars above echoed 
the cherished dreams of his own heart., There is no 
trace, we are told, that Wallenstein ever followed any 
particular dhcctious emanating from the stars *; 
but the knowledge that they j)rcdicted greatness 
biased his imagination, strengthened his resolutions, 
and made him boldly enter on a career from which 
a man of lowlier hopes had shrunk. 

The stai's foretold greatness to Wallenstein ; did 
they foretell, obscurely, so that he could not decipher 
their true meaning, that he should obtain that, the 
want of which made Alexander weep—a poet to 
illustrate his deeds? This greatness was perhaps 
written in the staiTy scroll, whose real meaning he 
could not decipher, and so aimed at a success that 
ended in defeat, but which, by means of Schiller, 
has become immortal glory. Such lights as well as 
shadow's lure us on under the form of regarded or 
despised presentiments. 

** I wouKl not call them 
Voices of ^ming that aniiounce to us 
Only the incvitahlc.” 

* Life of Wallenstein by Colonel Mitchell. 



8 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


Wallenstein has been pecubarly fortunate in 
having two poets; for Coleridge’s translation of 
Schiller’s tragedy, giving the German poetry an 
English poetic form, causes him to belong to both 
countries. 

Dark shadows for centuries have obscured the 
name of Wallenstein; amidst the uncertain there is 
enough of certain to form a hero both in good and 
ill; but the chief good, which places him side by 
side with his illustrious rival, Gustavus Adolphus, 
was his religious toleration, in an age of bitter, cruel, 
unrelenting religious j)crsccution. 

Passing this extensive palace, we ascended the 
height on which the Hradschin is situated; old 
princely Prague, the native city of the savage Ziska, 
of the martyred Huss, and of generations of resolute, 
free, and noble citizens, lay beneath in sleepy decay. 
It is impossible not to ponder upon the world’s fate. 
Had the Prince Palatine been a hero; had Wallenstein, 
by birth a Bohemian, not fallen in his youth into the 
hands of the Jesuits; had he grown u]) as he was 
baptized, a Lutheran, would not Bohemia have been 
able to maintain its pohtical and religious liberty! 
Would not the thirty years’ war have been crushed 
in the egg ? would not Germany, which has never 
recovci’cd the devastation and massacres of that 
period, have continued flourishing and become free ? 



AND ITALY, 


and might the Huguenots, so supported, not have 
been quite emshed in France, ^ 

But Frederick was an empty coward, Wallenstein 
a pupil of the Jesuits, and the world is as it is. 

Our coachman went a little out of his way up the 
river, to shew us where a suspension bridge is hung 
across the Moldau; but disdaining the modem in¬ 
vention, we caused the horses’ heads to be turned, 
and rccrossed the bridge of St, John Nejwmuk, 
that we might view the traces of the bombardment 
of the gate by the Swedes; the defaced ornaments 
and battered ap])earance still recall that time. 1 
was very sony to see no more, but though thus 
an outside view was all I caught of this ])icturesqne 
and ancient city,—its mosque-like churches, the dark 
pile of the old royal j)alacc, its deserted mansions, and 
noble river, form a living scene in my memory never 
to be effaced, “ The day we come to a jdace, wliich 
we have long heard and read of, is an era in our 
lives; from that moment the very name calls up a 
picture.”* The stilly evening shed golden rays over 
dome, tower, and minaret, and brightened the wide 
waters of the river. I returned with regret to our 
hotel. 

* Rogers's “ Italy.” 


B 3 



10 


KAMBLE8 IN GEKMANY 


LETTEU II. 

MUlcheD.~Budwci8»-»l4tiz. 

Fbidat, Sept. 2. 

We hired a lohn-kutscher to take us to Bndweis— 
about sixty miles—which was to occupy two days; for 
this we arc to pay, iucluding drink-ffdt, forty-four 
florins. I ought to mention, that the coachman 
w'ho took us from Dresden to Prague, refunded the 
overcharge of two thalers made by the fellow em¬ 
ployed by him to take us through the Saxon Swit¬ 
zerland. 

1 must tell you that the Germans look down on 
the voituriers as people of the lowest grade of society. 
One Gennan master at Kissingen, who made the 
bargain with the man who took us to Lcipsic, 
actually spoke to him with the er —^thc third person 
singular—^than which no greater insult can be ima¬ 
gined. These distinctions are droll, varjing as they 
do in different countiies. The Germans do not 
address each other with the plural you, as is our 
custom: thou denotes affection and familiarity. The 



AND ITALY. 


11 


common mode of speaking to friends, acquaintances, 
servants, shopkeepers—^to everybody indeed—is the 
third person plural, sic, they; your own dog you 
treat with the du, thouj the dog of your enemy 
ivith er, or he. The Germans have a habit of 
staring quite inconceivable—I speakj of course, of 
the people one chances to meet travelling as we do. 
For instance, in the common room of an hotel, if a 
man or woman there have nothing else to do, they 
will fix their eyes on you, and never take them off 
for an hour or more. There is nothing rude in their 
gaze, nothing pai-ticularly inquiring, though you 
suppose it must result from cm'iosity; perhaps it docs; 
but their eyes follow you with {)citinacity, without 
any change of expression. At Rabenau, and otlier 
country j)laccs, tlie little urchins would congregate 
from the ncighbom’ing cottages, follow us about, uji 
the hills, and beside the waterfall, form a ring and 
stare. A magic word to get rid of them is vei-y 
desirable; here it is—ask one of them, “Was will 
er?" “What does/<e want?” Tlie cr is in'csistible— 
the little WTctches feel the insult to their very back¬ 
bone, and make off at once. That the hitchers en¬ 
dure the eris astonishing. I could not address them 
so; for surely it is the excess of inhumanity as well as 
insolence to use a fonn of speech that denotes con¬ 
tempt to persons who have never offended yon. With 



13 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

the starers it is othci-wise ; they do offend grievously, 
and one has a full right to get rid of them at almost 
any eost. 1 will j ust add, that except the under-driver 
who had charge of us during our tom: through the 
Saxon Switzerland, we have not had reason to com¬ 
plain of our German hutchers— nor any reason to be 
pleased; they are quiet to sullenness; never gave up 
a point; and never seemed to care whether we were 
pleased or not. However, under this sort of sulky 
a])atliy there lurked an aptitude for getting into the 
most violent rage, if their pockets arc touched, wliich 
was verjf startling, as compvred with the ahscnce of 
all ex])ressiou of kindly feeling. 

We set out from Prague in the moniing, not 
quite as early as we ought, which disturbed the 
order of our travelling—a fact difficult to instil into 
the minds of some travellers,—but in voiturier tra¬ 
velling the whole comfort depends on an early de¬ 
parture. It seems that if a certain portion of work, 
with certain rests, arc to occupy the day, it docs not 
much matter how these arc portioned out. It is 
not so; and experience shows an early departure in 
the morning and an early arrival in the evening to 
be the only arrangement that makes this method of 
travelling at all comfortable. We set out late, and 
we had a carriage provided, uncomfortable from its 
extreme smallness; it was, indeed, a mere hack 



AND ITALY. J3 

drosky, taken from the streets j one person only 
could sit outside, and four were exceedingly confined 
for room inside. 

The weather continued fine and wai’m; and now 
in the heart of Bohemia, we looked inquiringly 
abroad to sec how a j)ortion of earth, with a name 
sounding to our western ears strange and even 
mysterious, differed from any other. We saw few 
distinctions—the villages were low-built and dirty; 
the towns rather pleasing in their appearance, looking 
airy, with a Large square or market-place in the midst, 
surrounded by low white»houses. Hill and dale sur¬ 
rounded us, consisting of a good deal of pasture j but 
the circumstance that chiefly struck us was, that we 
saw not a trace of the residence of any landed pro¬ 
prietor, no chateau, no country seat, no park, nor 
garden. We saw no house which any but a peasant, 
or in the. infrctiucnt towns, that any but one in an 
under grade of life, could inhabit. I cannot in my 
ignorance explain either the meaning or results of this 
state of things. Perhaps it arises from the circurn* 
stance, that the domains of the Bohemian nobility arc 
so large that they arc rather small tributaiy states.* 
The nobles possess ample privileges; and some 
among them, who belong to the old native families, 
are truly patriotic, and devote themselves to the good 


♦ Mr. Reeve. 



14 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

of their tenants, who are almost their subjeets ; but 
Prince Swarzenberg and Prince Mcttemich, who are 
among the richest landed proprietors of the province, 
are ecrtainly absentees; and probably the list of such 
is considerable. However this may be, and what¬ 
ever may be,the cause, we looked out eagerly, as 
we crawled slowly along, for traces of the habita¬ 
tions of gentry—a race more important often to the 
})rospcrity of a country than the nobdity—but w’e 
saw none. 

We expected to sleep at Tabor—our kutcher 
had so designed, but oui- late setting out changed 
his views. This annoyed us; and one of our party, 
familiar with German—of no gi-eat use, since the 
man was a Bohemian—sat by him and gave him 
kirch-wasser and cigar.s, and used what verbal 
eloquence he could, to persuade him that we might 
get on to Tabor. The man drank the kirch-wasser, 
smoked the cigars, and said nothing; while we 
hoped, in accoi’dance to the old saying, that silence 
gave consent. At about ten o’clock we airived at a 
miserable-looking village, with a worse-looking inn 
—such as carters and ivaggoners might frequent. 
With difficulty, for the entrance was encumbered 
and tortuous, we entered the court-yard. We sat in 
silent despair; but it was necessaiy to peld. I was 
taken up a broken staircase to a barn-looking room, 



AND ITALY. 


15 


With a number of beds in it—^it was the only 
sleeping-room. A handsome, proud-looking girl, 
the daughter of the house, with a hand-maiden 
under her, began to arrange my bed. The people 
in the south of Germany are not disinclined, when 
generou-s, to give you a clean under slicct ; but the 
upper one is double and encases the quilt, and this 
they do not think it nccessaiy to change, I sum¬ 
moned all my German, consisting but of single 
words; schmuzig, oi- dirty, applied to the sheet, 
made the girl angry; but, on my insisting on 
having another, slie coiftplied with the air of an 
offended empress. My maid sl(‘])t in the same 
room. I never dared ask how my companions 
passed the night—^the beds wci-e taken for them out 
of iny room. However, they got an excellent 
supper (of which I was too tired to partake) of 
venison—not a common thing in Bohemia; for 
usually we only got a disastrous huhn (a fowl), 
rather drier and tougher than deal chips. The 
name of this village ivas Miilchen. Our bill was 
six florins and a half. I mention these prices; for 
they show, as they vary from one end of Germany 
to another, sometimes the value of money, some¬ 
times the inclination to extort. The schein money 
still continues; so you will understand that a bill 
was brought in for more than sixteen florins, which. 



16 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

multiplying by two and dividing by five, we reduced 
to the real demand in florins Miinz. This sort of 
currency probably springs from the Austrian money 
introduced by conquest being of too high value for 
the poverty of Bohemia, who adhered to their own 
inferior coin, with a new name. 

The jieoydc of Bohonuia, such as we saw them, are 
better-looking than the jicasantry of those parts of 
Germany which we had visited; but there is nothing 
j)articularly attractive about them. It is impossible, 
however, to judge fairly even of the surface of a 
people whose language o.ic does not understand. 
The Bohemians do not exi)ect to be understood by 
strang(!rs, imless they can themselves speak German; 
and they are too lilllc! conversant ivith foreigners to 
take any soi-t of interest in them. Their manner was 
abiupt and decided, with a inLvturc of sullen disdain: 
dirty enough they arc, and very poor. The Bohe¬ 
mians arc, indeed, singularly cut oil' from the rest of 
the earth. Their language is exclusively their own— 
not understood beyond the boundaiy. Except to 
visit Prague, and one or two of their Baths, no 
strangers enter their comitry. From what I can 
gather, they bear the mai-ks of a conquered people, 
adhering to the customs and practices of their fore¬ 
fathers, forgotten everywhere else—satisfied with 
themselves—averse to improvement, which, indeed. 



AND ITALY. 


]- 


has no avenue by whieh to rcaeh them—they re¬ 
member that they were once free, though they have 
forgotten that they were Protestants. 


3o Septsmbeb. 

We still proceeded, not a little .weary—the 
dro.tktf was so very uueouifortablc—over hill and 
dale, and through miserable villages, or now and 
then a larger town, with its wide squai’e and long 
range of low houses. W’c, stop])ed at a better- 
looking inn than that of Wiilchcu for our mid-day 
meal, but fared worse; the only thing they could 
give us was the unfortunate hulin, against which we 
had made many violent resolutions, and now entered 
many vain ju’otests; this, and the absence of bread— 
for I cannot give that name to the sour, black, 
damp, uneatable substauce they brought as such— 
made our meals very like a Barmecide fea.st. Nor 
was the table graced with clean linen; but to this 
we had become painfully accustomed. 

We rolled on. The weather was beautiful; the 
country was pleasing without being striking. 

The day’s journey was long; we entered Budweis 
late, by moonlight. This is a large town; and by 
this light, there was something singular in the 
appearance of its extensive market-place, smTOunded 
by arcades. The Goldenc Sonne is marked by 



18 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

Murray as good, and we had no reas'on to alter 
this decision. The hostess was a tall, lai’ge woman, 
of resolute and abrupt manners; she spoke German 
readily, and, uncommon in Germany, served us with 
expedition, hut with an authoritative and con¬ 
descending manner, which amused us very much. 

Wc inquired, and found that there was no loco¬ 
motive on the railroad, that it was drawn by horses; 
that it set out at three in the morning, and that we 
should reach Linz the next day. Wc sent to take 
our places, and made a great mistake in not securing 
an “ exclusive extra” as .the Americans call it—^a 
coach and horse all to ourselves, which we might 
have obtained at a slight extra ex])cnsc, and wc 
should have been ])erfcctly comfortable. Our five 
places cost fifteen florins, and wc had to pay seven 
extra for luggage; which, considering the quantity 
wc had, was dear. Our bill at Budweis for supper 
and beds, and a cuji of coffee in the morning, was 
eleven florins—^nearly double the bill at Miilchcn, 
and, comj)arcd even with Prague, dear. 

SePTEJiBEn 4Ta. 

We did not go to bed till ueaidy twelve. We 
were to rise at two; and at the blast of a trumpet 
wc were awakened. You must know, besides its 
glass, Prague is famous for the manufacture of brass 



AND ITALY. 


19 


wind instruments, and P— bouglit a trampet for 
sixteen florins (thirty-two shillings): to prevent all 
possibility of any of the party not shaking oflF 
slumber at the right moment, he blew a blast which 
must have astonished all the sleepers in the inn. 

We again traversed the ghostly-locdcing white 
market-place of Budweis by the light of the unset 
moon, and took our places in one of the carriages on 
the railroad. Day .soon struggled through the shades 
of night, quenched the moonbeams, and disclosed the 
face of earth. 1 never recollect a more delightful diive 
than the himdred miles botween Budweis and Linz: 
each hour the scene gains in beauty—^from fertile and 
agreeable, it becomes interesting, tlicn pictm'csque ; 
and at last it presents a combination of beauty w'hich 
I never saw ecjualled. I huiTy over the mile.s, as our 
carriageswere hxirried along the railroad, which having 
an inclination down toward Linz, went very fast—I 
hurry on, and speak briefly of the ever-varying pano¬ 
rama of distant mountain, wood-clothed upland and 
fertile plain, all gay in sunshine, which we commanded 
as we w'cre whirled along the brink of a chain of hills. 

I never can forget the glorious sunset of that evening. 
We were on the height of a mountain, 

** At wliosc vcidaut feet 
A spacious plain, outstretclieU in circuit wide, 

Lay pleasant.*’—* 

* Paradise Regained. 



20 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


As wc descended towards Linz, the sun dropped low 
in the heavens. The prospect was extensive; varied 
by the lines of wooded hills and majestic mountains, 
and towering above, on the horizon, was stretched the 
range of the Salzbiu’g and Stjodan Alps. The Danube 
wound through the varied plain below; the town 
of Linz was upon the banks, and a bridge spanned 
the river; above, it swept under high j)rcci])ices— 
below, it flowed majestically on: its ghttering waves 
were seen afar giving that life and sublimity to 
the landscape which it never acquires without the 
addition of ocean, lake, or river—water, in short, in 
some magnificent form. Golden and crimson, the 
clouds waited on the sun, tiow' ilazzling in brightness; 
and now', as that sunk behind the far horizon, stretch¬ 
ing away in fainter and fainter hues, reflected by 
the broad river below. The town of Linz was a point 
or resting jflace for the eye, which added much to 
the harmony and j)crfcctiou of the landscape. I 
held my breath to look. My heart had filled to the 
brim with delight, as, sitting on a rock by the lake 
of Como, I had w'atched the sunlight climb the 
craggy mountains opposite. Tlic effect of this even¬ 
ing—when instead of up, 1 looked djovnn on a wide¬ 
spread scene of glorious beauty, was diflerent; yet 
so poor is language, that 1 know not how to paint 
the difierence in words. I had never before been 



AXD ITALY. 


21 


aware of all the awe the spirit feels when we are 
taken to a mountain top, and behold the earth 
spread out fair at our feet; nor of the delight a 
traveller reeeives when, at the close of a day’s travel, 
he— 

Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, 

Which, to his eye, discovers unawares 
The goodly prospect of some foreign land 
First seen; or some renowned metropolis, 

AVith glistening spites and pinnacles adorned, 

Which now the setting sun gilds with his beams.” * 

It was dark when we descended into the town: 
as wc crossed the bridge, the waters of the Danube 
gleamed h<‘neath the hills. 

We re])aircd to the hotel of tlu? Gf)ldcner Liiwe, 
which we find comfortable and good. 

* Milton. Do these lines, in tho ** INiradise Lost,” refer in the 
poet's mind lo his first view of Florence ? It seems very probable. 



22 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER III. 

Tlic Trauij.—-The (Jmundcn-Rcc.—Islil.—Rt. Wolfjjang Lake.—- 
Sal/burg. 

Monday, September 5th. 

The train of tlic railroad started at two in the 
afternoon for Gmnuden: we thus liad a few hours 
to s])are. One of our ‘party climbed the heights 
above Linz, to feast his eyes on the view which had 
enchanted me the preceding evening. There is no 
circumstance in travelling, consequent on my narrow 
means, that I I’cgret so much, as my being obliged to 
deny myself hiring a caniage when I arrive at a 
strange town, and the not being able, to diive about 
everywhere, and sec everything. I wandered about 
the town, and stood long on the bridge, drinking in 
the beauty of the scene, till the soul became full 
to the brim with the sense of delight. The river is 
indeed magnificent; with .sjrecd, yet with a vast¬ 
ness that lenders speed majestic, it himries on 
the course assigned to it by the Creator. Never, 
never had 1 so much enjoj'cd the gloiy of earth. 
The Danube gives Linz a superiority over a thou- 



AND ITALY. 


23 


sand scenes otherwise of equal beauty. Standing 
on the bridge, above is a narrow pass, hedged^ in 
by high sombre rocks, and the river sweeps, 
darkening as it goes, beneath the gloomy shadows 
of the precipices; below, it flows in a mighty 
stream through a valley of wide expanse, till you 
lose sight of it at the base of distant moun¬ 
tains. I should liked to have stayed some days at 
Linz: I gi’ievcd also not to be going by steam to 
Vienna. 

Our drive by the railroad to Gmunden was 
delightful. We had a littleUarriagc to ourselves. Our 
road lay through a valley watered by a stream, and 
adorned by woods; it wus a sequestered home-felt 
scene; while the high distant mountains redeemed it 
from tameness. After the sandy deserts of Prussia, 
and the bumt-up countr)' round Dresden, the 
freshness and gi'cen of a j)astoral valley, the 
murmur of streams and rivulets, the delightful 
umbrage of the trees, imparted a sense of peace and 
amenity that la])ped me in Elysium. We ehanged 
the train at Lambach, a quiet shady village. We 
had bargained that we should be allowed to 
visit the falls of the Traun on our way. It was 
evening before we reached the spot, and the falls arc 
nearly a mile fi-om the road; we had no guide, but 
were told we could not miss the way. Our path lify 



RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


2J. 

through a wood, and as twilight deepened we some¬ 
times doubted whether we had not gone astray 
through the gloom of the thicket. You know that a 
mile of unknown road, with some suspicion hovering 
in the mind as to whether you are in the right path, 
becomes at least three, or rather one feels as if it 
would never end. We came at last to the brink of 
the precipice above the river, and descended by steps 
cut in the rock. AYe thus reached the lower part of 
the fall. With some difficulty, it being so late, the 
Miller was found, and meanwhile we clambered to the 
points of rock from which the cascade is viewed. It 
was dim twilight, with the moon quietly moving 
among the summer clouds, and shedding its silver 
on the M'atcrs. Tlic river winding above through a 
w(K)ded ravine comes to an abrupt rocky descent, over 
which it falls with foam and spray. The drought had 
reduced the supply of water j a jwrtion also is carried 
off for the purpose of traffic—a wooden canal being 
constructed to allow the salt barges to ascend and 
descend the Traun without interruption from the 
cascade. This canal is on an inclined plain, and it 
would be very delightful to nish dow'ii: we could 
not, as there was no boat; but for six swanzikers (six 
eightpences) the sluices were shut and the water, 
blocked up, turned to feed and augment the fall. 
The evening hour took from the accuracy of our 



AND ITALY. 


25 


view, but added immeasurably to its charm; the 
mysterious glittering of the spray beneath the 
moon; the deep shadows of the rocks and trees ; 
the soft*hir and dashing waters—^hcre was the reward 
for infinite fatigue and inconvenience; here we 
grasped an hour which, when the memory of every 
discomfort has become almost a pleasm-e, will endure 
as one of the sweetest in life. Our carriage all the 
time was waiting for us by the road-side, so we tore 
ourselves away. We procured a boy with a lantern 
to guide us on our return through the wood; and, 
reaching the road, away,we sped along the rails. 
Our moonht view, as we went, was pregnant witl) 
a sense of placid enjoyment, being ])icturcsquc but 
gentle in its features of wood, village, and glimmer¬ 
ing stream; while the dark and gloomy Traunstcin 
rose frowning before our path. We reached Gmun- 
*den late, and found a very comfortable inn; it had 
a com’t in the middle and an open balcony on the 
different floors, into which a number of cell-like rooms 
opened. AVe had a good supper of fish from the 
lake, and the comfortable promise of a steam-boat 
at eleven the next morning; so there was no need 
for anxiety with regard to early rising. 


VOL. II. 


c 



26 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


Seftembeb 6th. 

We fared sumptuously this morning on fish and 
game; our bill was therefore comparatively high— 
thirteen florins; it had been the same at Linz. The 
cost of the raih’oad to Gmunden, for which we had a 
carriage for foitr to ourselves and a place in one of 
the diligences of the train for my maid, was thirteen 
florins; we had to pay three extra for our luggage. 

But enough of these matters. Now for another 
scene, which will ever dwell in my memory, coloured 
by the softest tints, yet sublime—the lake of Gmun¬ 
den. As the steamer carried us away from the town, 
which appeared noisy and busy after Bohemia, we 
might believe that we broke our link with mlgar earth 
—the waters spread out before us so solitary, so tran¬ 
quil. The lofty crags of the Traunstcin rose on our 
left—bare, abrupt, and dark—awhile the sunlight 
varied its shadows as we moved on; opposite, the 
lake was bounded by grassy hills, speckled with 
villages and spires, with here and there a cove, half 
shut in by precipitous rocks, half accessible through 
shady thickets, with green sloping sward domi to 
the water’s edge. These bays had a sequestered 
appearance, as if the foot of man had never dese¬ 
crated their loneliness. By one of those imcxplain- 
able impulses of the mind, which spring up spon- 



AND ITALY. 


27 


taneously and unlocked for, a sense of the beauty 
of the Greek mythology was awakened in me, moic 
vivid, more real than I had ever before experienced. 
As the poet* says, I could, while looking 

** On that pleasant lea, 

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn 

of dryad hiding among the trees; of nymph 
gazing at her own beauty in the lucid wave; of an 
immortal race—in short, tin; innocent oflFspring of 
nature, whose existence was love and enjoyment; 
who, freed from the primscval curse, might haunt this 
solitary spot. Why should not such be? If the 
earthly scales fell from our eyes, should we not per¬ 
ceive that “all the regions of nature swarm with 
spirits, and affirm, with Milton, that— 

Millions of spiritual creaturos \c^lk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake and when wo sleep.” 

It is easier for the imagination to conjure such up 
in sj)ots untrod by man, so to people with love and 
gi-atitudc what would otherwise be an unsentient 
desert. Not that I would throw contempt on the 
pleasmes of the animal creation, nor even on those 
of tree, or herb, or flower, which merely enjoys a 
conscious life, and in its pride of beauty feels happy, 
and, as it decays, peacefully resigns existence. But 
this docs not satisfy us, who are bom to look beyond 

c 2 


• Wordsworth. 


*1* Addison. 



28 


RAMBLES IN OEKMAXV 


the grave, and yearn to acquire knowledge of spiri¬ 
tual essences. 

I cannot tell you the sacred plcasui-c with which I 
brooded over these fancies, which were rather sensa¬ 
tions than thoughts, so heartfelt and mtiinate were 
they. I scarce dared breathe, and longed to linger 
on our way, so not .so quickly to put from my lips 
the draughts of happiness which I imbibed. 

You may remember that this was the spot that 
poor Sir Humphry Davy visited during his last 
painfid illness: many hours he beguiled fishing in 
the streams that fall into, the lake. Happy, or in 
sorrow, 1 hope to rctuni, and spend a summer 
in this neighbourhood: joy would be more than 
doubled, and grief softened into resignation, amidst 
scenes which, among many beautiful, excrci.sed a 
power over my imagination I never felt before. 
How deeply I regret not having spent the season 
here instead of at Kissingen and Dresden; but last 
summer in Wales so blended the idea of deluges of 
rain with mountain scenery, that the search of 
health, a wish to sec some friends, and a longing to 
behold strange cities, made us prefer the North. 
Regret is useless now'. Shall I ever have a sunny 
summer, when I may choose at will a retreat ? If I 
have, it will be spent here. 

The scenery round the lake increased in wildness 



AND ITALY. 


29 


and sublimity as wc lost sight of Gmundcn. I was 
veiy Sony when our onc-liour’s voyage was over,^ard 
wc landed at Ebensce. Here a sort of large car 
waited for the passengers, and wc drove up a wooded 
glen, through which the Traun flowed—a mountain 
torrent, broken by rocks—to Ishl. This»is a fashion¬ 
able bathing-placc: it is situated in a deep valley, 
surrounded by hills; though beautiful, it had not 
the charm of the scenes we had just left; indeed, a 
lake amidst mountains must always exceed a grassy 
valley : there is a magic charm in the notion of a 
cot on the verdant, woodod banks of a lonely lake— 
the boat drawn u]) in a neighbouring cove—tlic shel¬ 
tering mountains gathering around. However, Islil 
presents e\e(dlent head-(]uarter.s for exem’sions in 
this neiglilionrhood. 

Wc here seriously discus.scd our future progress. 
A desire to visit an Italian lake, as yet unknown, 
made us select tlic llremier pass and the Lago di 
Garda for our entrance into the Peninsula. The 
extreme beauty of the country in which we are, makes 
us desire to see as much of it as possible; and various 
names, the lake of Hallstadt and Bad Gastcin, hung 
before, to Im’e us towards them. But we cannot 
linger; and, on making inquiries, it seems that, 
unless wc make excursions perfectly independent of 
our ultimate bourne, ive cannot visit these spots,— 



30 BAMBLES IN eUBMANY 

in short, that to do so we ought to spend a 
summer, choosing some head-quarters, from which 
to diverge in diflercnt radii; hut that to go to 
Venice, we must abide by a known and frequented 
road. 

I gave up the idea of a prolonged stay in this 
neighbourhood with exceeding regret; but when 
resolved to proceed, many difficulties presented 
themselves. The people of the hotel at Ishl, which 
was large, new, clean, and good, but at the moment 
nearly empty, were resolved that we should spend 
at least one night there, and neither post-horses 
with caniage, nor voifuriers, could be procured,— 
being a fine day, they declared that every horse had 
been taken out by various parties of visitors for pic¬ 
nics and excursions. This was a renewal of the 
scene at Schandau. We ought to have yielded at 
once, and been satisfied to make an agi’ccmcnt for 
setting out the following morning; but we were 
stubborn, and much time was very disagreeably 
taken up by the struggle; and the dogged obstinacy 
and mde sullenness of the people exasperated some 
among us very much. They had the best of it 
however, and we were forced to resign ourselves to 
remain the night: a change then came, almost 
magical; the people, late so rude, were all courtesy; 
and sullenness tmned into obligingness. Nor were 



AND ITALY. 


31 


they bent on extortion: our bill altogether was 
seventeen florins. 

Being now at peace in our minds, we wandered 
for some time beside the Ishl. If we had been 
transported suddenly to this spot, we had been 
enchanted; but wc had passed througlv more beau¬ 
tiful scenery to reach it. There were a good many 
visitors: among them, Maria Louisa, a woman who 
might have been respected among women; but she 
forfeited her privilege. 


« September 27. 

The diive from Ishl to Salzburg was delightful. 
The road, for a considerable space, bordered tlie 
St. Wolfgang Lake. At the head of the lake, the 
horses rested for an liour; and my friends took a boat, 
and went on it to bathe. I joined them afterwards. 
There was not the same ehami in this lake as in the 
Gmunden-see. I cannot tell you why; for 1 find no 
language to express difierences which arc immense to 
our perceptions, and yet vary little in the description. 
Both present a wide exj)anse of water, surrounded by 
precipitous mountains or grassy banks. This, too, 
was grand, and solitary, and beautiful, but less softly 
inviting—^Icss, as it were, holy in its calm, and, at 
the same time, less cheerful in its aspect—than the 
Gmunden-see. 



32 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


Wtat will you say to me when I say that Salzburg 
surpassed all? It has indeed been pronounced to 
be the most beautiful sj)ot in Germany. Where¬ 
fore ? It has not the majestic Danube, as at Linz, 
sweejjing under dark, overhanging cliffs, and winding 
through a spacious valley, till lost to sight beneath 
distant mountains: it has not a lake sheltered by 
hills, with bay and inlet sacred to the sprites. It is 
observed that one of the most admirable features of 
a scene is where lofty mountains and an extensive 
plain unite. This is rare: usually mountains inclose 
a ravine, or valley, or lake • and the scenery around 
Salzbm-g is a specimen on the grandest scale in the 
world of this mixture. 

Imagine a vast, fertile, various plain, half-encircled 
by mighty mountains—^those near the town are 
abrupt chtfs, which tower above, crowned by castle 
and convent—with a river sweeping round thcii’ base; 
others, high and picturesque, but of softer foims, and 
wooded; and then, high above all, craggy, gigantic 
jilps—not the highest, for at this summer season 
scarcely a north-turned peak has preserved its snow, 
but still stupendous — some showing their dark, 
beetling sides, like Cadcr Idris, but on a larger 
scale; others, with what in Switzerland are called 
aiguilles, their spirc-hke peaks seeking the upper 
skies. Remember, we saw all this beneath a bright 



AND ITALY. 


33 


sun, the air so dry and pure that every crag and 
cleft was distinct on the face of the hills at^ an 
immense distance. The j)lain itself has a richer and 
more cheerful and rural appearance than any I have 
seen since I left England. The beauty of its meadows 
and gardens, the frequency of its cottntry-liouscs, 
the indescribable variety of the landscape, enchant 
the eye. What a summer might here be spent!— 
what a life, I would say, had not society and home a 
claim;—were it not a dream that we can be hapjiy 
only in the contemplation of nature, removed frora 
all intercourse with our tiquals. But you sec the 
magic circle: Linz, Gmunden, Ishl—these are in 
Styria—^then the district called the Salzkammergut. 
Such is the region in which I design, if I am ever 
able, to pass some long months, and to enjoy even 
more than I have ever yet done, the delight of 
exploring scenery unrivalled in the world. Ves; 
though the thought of Italy reproaches, and for life, 
I should not hesitate to choose between the two; yet 
there is something more sublime, more grand, more 
mysterious, in this Alpine region; which, as far as I 
have seen, I infinitely prefer to Switzerland. 

As we approached Salzburg, we found the fields 
and green uplands near the town alive with people. 
Horse-racing was going on; and the whole popula¬ 
tion had poured out to sec it, reproaching our dusty 

c3 



34 BAMBI.ES IN QEBMANY 

carriage and our fatigue by tbe gaiety of the 
equipages and the holiday trim of the spectators. 
I do not know anything more humbling to one’s 
self-conceit than amving travel-tired and soiled 
amidst a crowd of well-dressed people; so we looked 
another way, and went right on to the inn. We 
found that the inauguration of the statue of Mosart 
and the annivcrsai’y of the century after his birth 
had been celebrated by three days of holiday at 
Salzburg—this, the last. It was a gi’eat pity we 
had not arrived the day before to hear one of his 
Operas; but we were too late. As a token of 
veneration for this greatest of all composers, Mr. 

P-endeavoured to gain admission to the organ 

on which Mozart had played for years; but the 
absence of the person in authority prevented his 
success. 

The inn of the Erzherzog Carl is vciy good; but 
our duties pressed on us. We could not linger, 
and we must make arrangements for our further 
progress. We ascertained here a faet, which we 
suspeeted before, that the addition which our party 
had received at Dresden, however delightful in other 
respects, spoiled the financial economy of our 
journey. Persons travelling in Austria without a 
carriage can, if four in number, secure a separat 
wagen, and obtain a clean carriage to convey them 



AND ITADY. 


36 


post the whole way, at a slight advance on the price of 
the eilwagen; but we were five—^wc must, therefo.'c, 
have two carriages, and the expense w'as doubled. 
We did not find a voiturier much cheaper. Had we 
gone post, wc should have gone by Villach, and 
reached Venice in four or five days. “But wc had 
set our hearts on the Lago di Garda, and that 
decided us. Wc made a bargain for two caleches, 
with a pair of horses to each, to take us over the 
Brenner to Trent, in five days and a half, for a 
hundred and forty florins.* We have now left the 
Mtinz and schein money, ^md have passed from the 
Austrian to the Bavarian florin : this is a gain—the 
former is two shillings, the latter two francs; and they 
are worth the same in expenditure. Settling this aflair 
occupied us, at intervals, during the whole evening. 
Wc rambled a little about the town, which is 
remarkable for a large handsome square, with a 
fountain, built of white marble, and said to be the 
finest in Europe: it would be finer had it more 

• On this subject only Murray’s Hand-book seems to run faulty— 
a lower price for voiture travelling is always named than! have found 
it possible to attain. It is easy to allege that wc were imposed upon. 
It may bo so; but it was difficult to believe this in some instances, 
where the l^ii^ain was made for us by friends, natives of the country. 
In the Hand-book of Italy this is the more remarkable, and I can 
speak with greater certainty. I do not know how it may be with a 
single man taking his place,—one among many^ as It may chance,— 
but for a party, like oursel^s, taking a whole carriage, the expense 
in proportion is far higher than he mentions. 



36 


BAMBLES IN GEBMANY 


water. The statue of Mozart is placed in another 
part of the square: it is of a large size, and striking. 
On account of the festival, there was no possibility 
of visiting the lions —every body was out. and all 
things closed. We wandered beyond the town, on 
the margin of the Salzer—an impetuous torrent, 
rushing at the foot of romantic crags. It is a region 
of cncliEmting beauty, which 1 shall leave with 
great regret. StUl, it is much to have had this sort 
of Jlash-of-lightning view of the lovely scenes we 
have lately passed through; and I hope, some day, 
to visit them again at leisure. 



AND ITALY. 


37 


LETTER IV. 

Entraace to the Tjiol.—Tillage Fete.—Pass .Strnb.—Swartz.— 
Iiiapruck. 

Mondzy, 8tii Seftehbeu. 

We left, Salzburg at ten o'clock, on a tine sunny 
morning. We were about to penetrate the most 
celebrated jtasscs of the 'Tyrol,—and the name has 
magic in it. We wound through the plain of the 
Salzkauinicrgut, hedged in by lofty mountains, that 
rise sheer and abrupt from the plain, without any 
ajiparcnt opening by wliich their recesses may be 
penetrated. The Tyrol is the most continuously 
mountainous district in Europe. Switzerland con¬ 
tains plains and lakes—the Tyi-ol has only defiles 
and ravines, hedged in closely on all sides by 
precipice and mountain; while, in the depths, the 
torrents from the hills unite and form rivers, which 
turn many a mill-wheel destined for domestic use, 
besides carrying the riches of the coimtry (salt) 
down various canals, fed by them, till it reaches the 
Danube. Once, these streams were laden with the 
hopes—the fate—of the Tyrolese, and watched with 



38 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


beating hearts by the heroes about to combat for 
their country—by the women and children who 
sympathised with and aided the stronger sex in 
their glorious struggle. The night of the 8th 
April, 1809, was fixed on for the general rising of 
the peasantry against the French and Bavarians: 
the signal agreed upon was throwing sawdust into 
the Inn, which floated down, and was seen and 
understood by the peasants. In addition to this, a 
plank with a httlc pennon was launched on the river 
and home down the stream, and hailed with enthu¬ 
siasm, as it carried the tidrngs that all were about to 
rise to liberate their country. 

It is by these defiles—that of the Saal—and 
afterwards of the Inn — that travellers* reach the 
Brenner. We approached the mighty crags, and 
by degrees they closed around us, and we found 
ourselves in a ravine, with the Saal—a common 
name of a river in Germany—flowing through its 
depth. This sort of route is familiar to all who 
have travelled among mountains. Thus are these 
districts traversed. The chains of mountains are 
intersected by ravines, and torrents w'ork their w’ay in 
the depth; the road is carried along the margin—^now 
ascending, now descending, now turning the huge 
shoulder of a hill, now penetrating into its recesses, 
according as the formation of the pass requires. 



AND ITALT. 


39 


Soon after leaving Salzburg, we came upon a strip 
of Bavarian tenitoiy; and it was ucccssaiy to stop^ at 
the last Austrian Custom-house^ to have our luggage 
loaded. "WTiile this was being done, the sounds of a 
fiddle caused us to peep into the jmblic room of a 
little inn. A marriage was being ccldhratcd, and 
dancing going on. A curious sight it was. The men 
are a handsome lUCC, dressed as wc arc accustomed 
to see them represented—^the jacket, tight breeches 
fastened at the knee, the sash round the waist, stock¬ 
ings and shoes, and high hat and feather, fonn a 
very becoming costume foi*a good figure. But, alas! 
for the women: their waists arc jdaced up between 
their shoulders; their petticoats, short; a peaked 
man’s hat, like a Wclchwoman’s, completes their 
ungainly appearance. Nor did 1 sec any beauty: the 
youngest were weather-beaten and clumsy: they were 
destitute of all soft feminine grace, and seemed a 
cross between a boy and an old woman. The dancing 
is infinitely strange. They walz with impetuosity— 
with frenzy—^interspersing theii* dance with certain 
capers, twists, hugs and leaps, which evidently excited 
great admiration: a Highland fiiug was nothing to 
it. We found Murray’s description true to the letter, 
and were much amused. Remember, too, that amidst 
all the twirhngs, springs, and kickings, in which they 
indulged, the dance was performed with a gravity 



40 


KAMBLES IN GERMANY 


worthy of a Parisian ball-room, and with infinite 
precision; no jostling; no romping; their capers 
were executed by rulf, and with perfect decorum. 

The pass we continued to penetrate —Pass Strub, 
which forms the portal of the lyrol—is one of the 
most beautiful in the world. We left the Saal; and 
now crossing the huge shoulders of mighty hills, 
now thridding other deep gorges, we wound our tor¬ 
tuous way, till we should reach the Unter Innthal, or 
valley of the lower Inn. This night we slept at Waid- 
ringen, a very rustic place; but we were comfortable 
enough. Our fare was ..ild food: we had supper, 
our rooms, and coffee in the morning; and our bill 
amomited to four Bavarian florins, for five persons. 

Septembeb 9. 

The Tyrol was ever celebrated for the beauty of 
its scenery, and the intcgiaty and simplicity of its 
inhabitants. In 1780, Mr. Bcckford travelled here, 
and celebrates, in various of his iumiitable Letters, 
‘‘the Tj-rol, a country of picturesque wonders.” 
“ Here,” he says, “ those lofty peaks, those steeps of 
wood I delight in, lay before us. Innumerable clear 
springs gushed out on every side, overhung by 
luxuriant shrubs in blossom; soft blue vapours rest 
upon the hills, above which rise mountains that bear 
plains of snow into the clouds.” 



AND ITALY. 


41 


The TjtoI is now endowed with a higher interest: 
it is hallowed by a glorious struggle, which gifts 
every rock, and precipice, and mountain-stream, with 
a tale of wonder. 

The Tyrol became by inheritance a possession of 
the house of Hapsburgh as far back as th&fourtccnth 
century. The princes of Austria showed themselves 
worthy sovereigns of this province. The internal 
govcniment of the country was the object of wise 
legislation; and, in spite of the ojiposition of Pope 
and noble, and imperial city, the Tyrolese received 
the gift of a free constitu/ion, and governed and 
taxed themselves. These blessings arc guarded by 
the fact that the soil of the moimtains is thcii- own. 
Tlici'c are no noble landlords to carry off the wealth 
of the country in the shape of rents, forcing the 
labourers to waste their lives in penury and toil, that 
they may squander in vice and luxury. The peasant 
possesses the land he cultivates. lie is independent, 
pious, and honest. No mercenary troops have ever 
been hired among these momitains; but the Tyrolese 
arc not unwarlike. They are devotedly attached to the 
House of Austria, which conferred their privileges, 
protected them, exacted few taxes, and in no way 
displayed the cloven foot of despotism, in this happy 
region. Their domestic government is carried on by 
themselves. They furnish a slight contingent to the 



42 


HAMBLE8 IN OEaMANY 


imperial armies, which is looked upon as an opening 
to active life, and operates rather beneficially on the 
population. They are accustomed to the use of arms, 
for the militia is called out and exercised each year. 
They are a happy, brave, religious, free, and virtuous 
people. 

But what is all this to ambition ? It suited the 
views of Napoleon that the TjyoI should belong to 
Bavaria, when he raised it from an electorate to a 
kingdom; and by the treaty of Presburg in 1805, 
Austria ceded, with reluctance it is true, but still it 
ceded, the best jewel of its crown. The Tyrolese had 
lately, under the command of the Austrians, de¬ 
fended their passes against the Bavarians with heroic 
braveiy—now they were to become subjects of the 
inimical power. 

Their very hearts revolted against their change of 
masters. But they had far worse to suffer. Their 
new sovereign promised solemnly to govern them by 
their old laws, and to respect their institutions ; but 
no sooner were the Bavaiian authorities established 
in the country, than these stipulations were basely 
violated. The constitution was at once overthrown 
by a royal edict. Hitherto they had taxed them¬ 
selves j now eight new and oppressive taxes were im¬ 
posed and levied with rigour. Convents and monas¬ 
teries were confiscated, their estates sold, and their 



AND ITALY. 


43 


chalices and other sacred treasures seized, melted down, 
carried oflf. Not content with inflicting these wToi.^s 
and insults, Bavaria attempted to obliterate the very 
name of the Tyrol from the map of Europe. The 
distriet was divided into piwnnees, called after the 
various rivers which flow ed through them. •The inha¬ 
bitants were ordered to change their language, and 
only permitted to use that of their forefathers for 
four more years. 

Napoleon, w'hen the country rose against this 
misrule, declared “ the Bavarians did not know how 
to govern the Tyrolese, and»were unworthy to reign 
over that noble countn'.” But these words only add 
greater heinousness to his crimes against them; for 
his exactions on Bavaria were the primal cause of 
the hea\'y taxes—his examjde had taught that the 
best w'ay to tame a people was to give them new 
names, and change their local demarcations j and 
when they revolted against the tyranny which he 
himself declared unworthy, he punished without 
mercy the oppressed, wronged, and insulted insur¬ 
gents. 

What wonder that the Tyrolese detested their new 
rulers; or that, fondly attached to their old ones, 
they should hear and answ’cr with enthusiasm the 
call of one of their ancient princes. "WTicn war 
again broke out between France and Austria, the 



44 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

Archduke John called on the Tyrolese, in a spirited 
and exciting proclamation, to expel the French and 
Bavarians. With transport they prepared to obey. 
The country rose to a man: women and children 
assisted} caiTying to the scattered peasantiy the 
watchword, “ s’ist zeit” “ it is time,” which bade 
them at once assemble and prepare for action. 
Slightly aided by the Austrian regular troops, at the 
cost of many victories and some defeats, they drove 
the enemy from their country. 

But ])cacc was again to ]>rove fatal to them. By 
the trciity that was “igned after the battle of 
Wagrani, they were ceded anew to Bavaria. What 
wonder that they shrunk from the hated yoke, whose 
weight they had before experienced, and almost 
without hope, yet resolved not to yield. They con¬ 
tinued the heroic struggle; and in this last contest, 
thcii' combats and their victoines were even more 
wonderful than in the first instance. 

Every poi'tion of the route we traversed had been 
the scene of victory or defeat, and rendered illus¬ 
trious by the straggle for libci-ty. Our road lay 
through Unter Innthal, whieh presented mountain 
scencrj', infinitely various in aspect;—glen, wood, 
and stream;—sunrise, noon, and sunset—shine and 
shadow added pci*petual changes to the ravines 
and their skreens of precipices. I confess there was 



AND ITALY. 


45 


none of the charm of Styria or the Salzkammcrgut. 
It was beautiful and sublime to pass through, to 
look upon, but the wish to take up my abode in any 
of these solitudes never presented itself to my mind. 
I have even seen passes I have admired more; it bears 
some rescmblanee to that of Saint Jean le ]V/auricnnc, 
for instanee, on the way from Chablais to Mont 
Ceiiis; but that is more beautiful from its walnut- 
trees and loftier Alps. 

We slept at Swartz—a town of sad celebrity in 
tlu! wars of 1809. The Bavarians took it by storm, 
and were guilty of cruelties which the historian 
refuses to depict, as too horrible and too sickening 
for his pages.* A new race has sprung up; but the 
towi has not recovcTcd its former pros])erity. 

The inn here is e.vcellent; it is kept by Baiuer, 
known in England as one of the Tyrolese minstrels. 
His rooms are clean and comfortable; we fared 
sumptuously, indulging in Bhenish wine. Our bill, 
with all this, was only ten florins, or thirteen shil¬ 
lings and fourpcnce, for all; by which you may 
judge for how small a sum a man a]^e, bent on 
economy, might make a tour of the Tyrol. 

Leaving Swartz, by degrees the pass widened, and 
from a height we saw Inspruck, white and nest-like, 
basking in the valley beneath. All this portion of 
* Alison’s History of Europe. 



46 


RAMBIiES IN GERMANY 


the country was the theatre of many mortal combats 
between the Tyrolese and Bavarians and French, in 
fsOO. The town was taken and retaken several 
times j the bridge of Hall, the Brenner, and Berg 
Isel, were the scenes of gallant exploits; and the 
rustic chiefs of these hardy mountaineers were often 
victorious over officers, who, commanding disciplined 
troops, disdained the ill-anned and tumultuous pea¬ 
santry with whom they had to contend. Dietfurth, 
a Bavarian colonel, liad boasted at Munich that, 
“ with his regiment and two squadrons of horse, he 
would disperse the ragged mob.^’ lie was wounded 
to death in one of the assaults, when Inspruck 
was taken; and while lying in the guard-house of 
that city, singulai’ly added to the enthusiasm of 
the pious, not to say superstitious, peasantry. He 
asked. Who had been their leader ? “ No one,” was 
the reply; " we fought equally for God, the Empe¬ 
ror, and om* native country.” “ That is surprising,” 
said Dietfurth; “ for I saw him frequently pass me 
on a white horse.” These words caused the report 
to spread l^at their patron saint, St. James, fre¬ 
quently celebrated in Spanish annals of Moorish 
wars for his white charger, had appeared in person to 
guard the city, placed under his especial protection. 

Besides this more modern source of interest, 
we were told to look with curiosity at an old castle. 



AND ITALY. 


47 


from a higli, window of which Wallenstein, then a 
page of the Margraf of Burgau, fell to the ground 
without hurting himself—an accident which was 
said to have sown in his mind the seeds of that 
superstitious reverence for his own fortune which 
followed him through life, and was the instigator of 
many of his exploits. Unfortunately for the fame 
of the castle, Wallenstein’s biographers tell us that 
this story is a fiction; that he was never page to the 
said nobleman; never inhabited this castle. 

inspmek, lying in the centre of a little plain, 
surrounded by Alps, with its tall steejdc and white 
walls, has a thousand times been painted, and is a 
sort of ideal of what these Alpine cities are. It is 
clean and fair; one wide w’ell-paved street, which 
midway enlarges into a square, runs tlic whole length. 
There is an immense hotel, usually thronged with 
travellers, as the road into Italy by Munich, and 
by the passes of the Tyrol or the Stelvio, is much 
frequented. We had a very good breakfast here, 
for which wc paid as much as for sujjper, rooms, 
and breakfast the night before; the numerous 
English have taught them high charges. Here we 
found some letters from England, and wrote answers, 
and rambled about, but saw not half of what 
wc ought to have seen ^ in this cajutal of a free 
country. 



48 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER V. 

The Pass of the Brcniicr.—Hofer.—Brcssaiionc.—Trent.— 
Riva.—Logo di Garda.—Promontorv of Sirmio. 

Immediately on leaving Insprack we began the 
ascent of the Brenner. The road is being greatly 
improved; as long as we continued along the new 
portion, it was admirable, but we were forced to turn 
off very soon into the old road, now in a neglected 
state. The northern side of the Brenner is very 
dreary. For awhile we commanded a view of the 
plain of Iiispruck, and its gem-like town; but when 
a turn of the road hid this, we found om’sclves 
winding along beside a tiny rill, and spread around 
was a wild and dreary mountain side; a drizzling rain 
fell, which shut out the new of the surrounding 
countiy. The people we met looked poor, and the 
villages through which we passed seemed wTetched 
enough. In one of them w'e passed the night. 
The name of the village is not even mentioned in 
Murray, and the inn was vjry bad; so you may think 
we were disgusted—especially as we had entertained 



AND ITALY. 


49 


hopes of getting on as far as Brenner: but the elder 
voiturier, who was captain of our movements, was 
silent, sulky, and obstinate. Endeavours to move 
him, only added to his sullcnness. 

The road in the morning presented the same dis¬ 
consolate appearance: the town of Brenner is on a 
level, shut in by heights. We were still on the 
banks of the Sill, uhich joins the Inn, and pursues 
its coui’se to the Black Sea; but with delight I saw, 
and with ccstacy my two companions, who had never 
visited Italy, hailed, a little rivulet and tiny waterfall, 
the Eisach, which flows south and joins the Adige; 
it was gi-asping Italy, to behold a stream that 
mingled its mountain-born waters with the rivers and 
lakes of that divine eountry. 

We descended rapidly; and, passing across the 
Sterzinger Moss, a marshy flat, we again entered the 
mountain defiles. iVfter passing through Mitten* 
wald, the ravine closes still more narrowly. This 
was the seene of a most tremendous eonflict 
during the Tyrolese struggle. Every stone and 
every crag, indeed, has its tale of victory and defeat. 

I have mentioned, that after the battle of Aspern, 
the Tyrolese had delivered their eountry from the 
Bavarian yoke. The desire to be free caught the 
neighbouring provinces of Bavaria, Vorarlberg, and 
the northern Italian mountains, and in every part 

VOL. II. D 



30 KAMBLES IN GERMANY 

the native peasantry, joined to their Austrian allies, 
were vietorious. The Tyrolese believed that they had 
regained their liberty, when the battle of Wagram, 
followed by the annistice of Znaym, crushed all 
their hopes. The Tyrol was re-deinanded by Napo¬ 
leon for Bavaria—and ceded again by Austria. The 
Emperor, after vowing never to desert them, wrote 
to the TjtoIcsc to announce, with expressions of 
paternal regret, the necessity he was under of yielding 
to Napoleon, and to order his troops to evacuate 
their countrj'. 

The mountaineers recc’ved these tidings with in¬ 
dignation, but without despaii’. They had stniggled, 
bled, and been victorious; but battles in which they 
had no share, fought at a distance from their territory, 
wei-c to decide their fate; and they w'ere to be made 
over like a flock of sheep, bought and paid for, to a 
master who had oppressed them and endeavoured to 
destroy all they held dear—constitution, name, lan¬ 
guage, all! They refused to submit to so inglorious 
a destiny. At first they deliberated on forcing the 
Austrian troops to remain; but deserted by them, and 
by many of their own leaders, who accompanied the 
retiring army, they turned to Hofer, who accepted 
the command. The whole of the Tyrol again rose, 
and many of the Austrian soldiers deserted their 
banners to join the peasantry. The hopes of the 



AND ITALY. 


51 


patriots were now high, and they resolved to close 
their passes against the French and the Bavarians. 

Hofer is no silken hero. Many portions of his 
character militate against the laws of romance; he 
had the German defects joined to their nobler quali¬ 
ties. He was born in the station of an innkeeper, 
a position rather of distinction in the TjtoI, since 
bringing the publican into contact ■with travcllcr.s, 
he acquires knowledge and civilisation. He is said 
to have been indolent, as well as convivial, even to 
intemperance, in his habits. He was often to be 
found carousing in a way.side inn, while his com¬ 
panions in arms were in the field. With all this, 
his countrymen idolised him, and he was esteemed 
and distingui.shcd by the Emperor and the Arch- 
Juk. .lohii, who was th< chief instigator of the first 
rising of the Tyrol. He was possessed of unble¬ 
mished integrity — honest, brave, open-hearted, 
resolute, and pious, he had aU the virtues of the 
hardy, untaught mountaineer. 

It is an interesting circumstance in his career, 
that w'hen called upon to lead his countrymen 
against the Bavarians, he underwent a violent strug¬ 
gle of feeling. When General Hormayr withdrew 
from the TjtoI, he persuaded several of the chic& 
to accompany him in his retreat. Hofer refused to 
go, and exerted his eloquence to prevail on his 
d2 



H'Z RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

Mends to remain, imploring them to make “ one 
more effort in behalf of their beloved country.” 
Yet his own resolution was not entire. He felt 
that he was about to lead his countrymen against 
forces which held the whole of Europe in awe, which 
had humbled that Emperor, under the protection 
of whose sceptre he desired to remain. Could any¬ 
thing but ultimate defeat ensue? On the other 
hand, he could not contemplate with any sense of 
resignation a renewal of the tyranny of Bavaria: 
and, doubtless, he entertained a hope that their 
continued resistance would cause Austria to make 
another, and probably a successful attempt to claim 
its own. He passed several days in his native 
valley of Passeyr, a prey to irresolution, striving to 
seek a decision by the force of prayer. 

Meanwhile, General Lefevre, at the head of a 
force composed of French, Saxons, and Bavarians, 
penetrated to Inspruck, took possession of the 
city, and advanced southward across the Brenner. 
The peasantry assembled in arms, and Hofer not 
appealing, Haspinger came forward to lead them. 
Father Haspinger was a Capuchin friar; he was 
young and athletic. In his student days, in 1805, 
he had fought the French; since then he had lived 
secluded in his monastery; but the cause of his 
country called him out. He had been present at 



AND ITALY. 


53 


all the pre«ous battles, and was always seen in the 
thickest of the fight, bearing no arms except a Imge 
ebony crucifix, with which he dealt tremendous 
blows on the heads of his adversaries, and did great 
execution. In the absence of Hofer, this singular 
man came forward to direct the exertions of the pea¬ 
santry. It was in the narrow pass below Mittenvald, 
that he prepared a fearful ambush. He caused 
enormous larch-trees to be felled, upon which were 
piled huge masses of rock and hcaj)s of rubbish; 
the whole being held together by strong cords, and 
thus suspended over the edge of the precipice. 

“ Wc had penetrated to Inspruck,” writes a Saxon 
officer,bclonging to Lefevre’s army, “ without greaf 
resistance ; and, although much was reported about 
the Tyrolese stationed upon and round the Bren¬ 
ner, we gave little credit to it, thinking the rebels 
might be dispersed by a short cannonade, and 
already looking on ourselves as conquerors. Our 
entrance into the passes of the Brenner was only 
opposed by small corps, which continued to fall back 
after an obstinate but short resistance: among others, 
I perceived a man, full eighty years of age, posted 
against the side of a rock, and sending death among 
our ranks at every shot. Upon the Bavarians 
descending from behind to make him prisoner, he 
shouted aloud, ‘Hurrah!' struck the first man to 



54 KAMBLES IN 6EKMANY 

the ground with a ball, seized the second, and, 
with the cry, * In God's name!’ precipitated himself 
with him into the abyss below. Marching onward, 
we heard from the summit of a high rock, ‘ Stephen, 
shall I chop it off yet?' to which a loud, ‘Nay!’ 
rcverberatcd'from the other side. This was told to the 
Duke of Dantzig, who, notwithstanding, ordered us 
to advance. The van, consisting of 4000 Bavarians, 
had just stormed a deep ravine, when wc again heard 
over our heads, ‘ Hans! for the Most Holy Trinity!’ 
The reply that immediately followed completed our 
terror. ‘In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, 
cut all loose above!’ and ere a minute had elapsed, 
thousands of my comrades in arms were crushed, 
buried, and overwhelmed by an incredible heap of 
broken rock, crags, and trees, hurled down upon us.” 

hlr. Alison, in his “ History of Europe,” tells us 
that in 1816 he visited this spot, and says “the long 
black furrow, produced by the falling masses, like 
the track of an avalanche, was, even then, after 
the lapse of seven years, imperfectly obliterated 
by the bursting vegetation which the warmth of the 
Italian sun had awakened on these beautiful steeps.” 
Now, thirty-three years, with their various seasons, 
snow, rain, and sunshine, have drawn a green veil 
over the ruins; and there is nothing left to tell the 
tale of defeat and death. 



AND ITALY. 


56 


To return to Hofer—^for these valleys are filled 
with his name, and it were sacrilege to traverse them 
without commemorating his glory and lamenting his 
downfall. 

On hearing of this success, Ilofer, joined by many 
thousand peasants, descended from the valley of 
Passeyr; through the whole region the hardy inha¬ 
bitants rose en masse. Comit Wittgenstein succeeded, 
however, in clearing the northern slope of the Bren¬ 
ner, and General Lefevre once more advanced, 
intending to cross and enter the Italian Tyrol. He 
was attacked on all sides by innumerable and deter¬ 
mined foes. After an obstinate conlliet he was 
defeated, forced back down the mountain; he lost 
his ammunition and cannon, and, hotly pursued, had 
only time to take refuge in Inspruck, disguised like 
a common trooper. 

The jjeasantry collected in thousands, and ano¬ 
ther battle ensued. The disciplined troops of the 
invader were unable to cope with the enthusiastic 
numbers that assailed them; their mercenary courage 
quailed before the noble ardour of the free moun¬ 
taineers. Mount Isel was again the scene of the 
conflict; it ended in the total defeat of the French 
and Bavarians. Inspruck was evacuated, and Gene¬ 
ral Lefevre retreated to Salzburg. Hofer became 
commandcr-in-chief of the Tyrol. The simplicity. 



50 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

the almost childish earnestness to act with justice 
that characterised his rule, in no way deteriorates 
from the real elevation of his character. He was an 
ignorant peasant, and his eyes did not look beyond 
the well-being of his native province and of his 
countrymen, who were also his personal friends. To 
this he was devoted, and no act of arbitrary power 
or of insolence, no shadow of such a thing, clouded 
his short-lived prosperity. 

It was indeed brief. New annies poured into 
the devoted country, and the mountain passes were 
invaded at all points., For three months the 
peasants kept up their resistance, but the coming of 
winter forced them from their mountain fastnesses 
into the valleys below; food became scarce; their 
power of resisting the foe dwindled, faded, and 
became extinct—the Tyrol again became a province 
of Bavaria. 

Napoleon, in his haughty contempt and insolent 
indignation at any opposition to his will, chose to 
regard the struggle of the Tyrolese for liberty as the 
lawless tumult of freebooters; he magnified the very 
few acts of barbarity of which the peasantry had 
been guilty (not to be compared in number to the 
atrocities perpetrated by their opponents) and. had 
the baseness to set a price on the head of the pea¬ 
sant chiefs. 



AND ITALY. 


57 


Hofer wavered several times. Now, concehing 
that further resistance could only injure his county, 
he issued a proclamation inviting his countrymen to 
lay down their arms; but finding they would not 
yield, he resolved not to desert his post, and told 
the peasantry that “ he would fight with them and 
for them, as a father for his children.” Various 
feats of arms ensued, and the Tyrolese were often 
victorious—even while ultimate and absolute defeat 
could only be deferred a few days by their heroism. 
At last all was lost; the chiefs for the most part 
fled; some fell into the hands of the enemy; others, 
with more or less of peril and hardship, escaped to 
Austria. 

Hofer refused to fly; he refused to surrender. 
He retired to his native valley of Passeyr. He con¬ 
cealed himself in an Alpine hut foTir leagues distant 
from his home, and almost inacessiblc amidst the 
snows. His wife and child accompanied him, and 
his friends supplied him as they could with food, 
and brought him messages even from the Emperor 
of Austria, entreating him to escape. He refused. 
A stubborn patriotism held him to his native moun¬ 
tains, and he declared he would never leave them. 
Nor would he disguise himself, nor cut off his beard, 
which, flowing to his waist, rendered him conspi¬ 
cuous. At the same time he probably believed, now 
D 3 



58 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

the country was subdued and tranquil, that the 
Fi;ench would soon cease to desire to possess them* 
selves of him. 

He was deceived. A cunning intriguii^ priest, of 
the name of Donay, had insinuated himself into his 
confidence, ‘ and now, for the sake of the price set 
upon his head, betrayed him to the French general. 
An officer was sent with sixteen hundred men to 
take him prisoner j two thousand more were ordered 
up the pass to be at hand—so fearful were they that 
the peasants would rise to the rescue. 

The column began their march at midnight, on 
the 20th January, over ice and snow. At five in the 
inoming they reached the hut in which Hofer and 
his family harboured. He heard the French officer 
inquire for him, and came to the door and at once 
delivered himself up. He was bound, and amidst 
the shouts of the French and the tears of the pea¬ 
sants, he was marched to Botzen. Here he was 
received by the French commandant, Baraguay 
d’Hilbers, who treated him with courtesy, and even 
with such kindness as may be afforded a prisoner. 
Hofer was greatly altered by his long retreat amidst 
the snows, and by frequent want of food. His hair 
had grown gray, but his spirit was untamed, and his 
countenance beamed with cheerfulness and serenity. 
He was separated from his family, and carried to the 



AND ITALY. 


59 


shores of the Lago di Garda. He was put iu a boat 
at the little village of Simone, and on disembarkijig 
again was carried on to Mantua. 

A court-martial was immediately summoned: but 
even the laws of war were dispensed with; for the 
sentence of death was not passed by this* court ; the 
telegraph declared it from Milan, ordering his 
execution within twenty-four hours. Until this 
moment he had apprehended no danger to his life; 
yet he received the sentence with unshaken fomness, 
and only requested the attendance of a confessor: 
this was complied with, 0u the following morning, 
he was taken from the prison. He passed by the 
barracks of the Porta Molina, where the Tyrolese 
prisoners were confined, who all wept, and implored 
his blessing. This Ilofer gave them, entreating their 
pardon fur being the cause of their misfui'tuiies, and 
declaring his conviction that they would soon be 
delivered from the sway of Bavaria. On the broad 
bastion at a little distance from the Porta Ceresa, a 
halt was commanded. Hofer refused to be blind¬ 
folded—^he refused to kneel. He said, “He was 
accustomed to stand upright before his Creator, and 
in that posture he would deliver his spirit up to 
Him.” He said a few words of farewell, expressing 
his undying love for his country; and pronounced 
the word “ Fire! ” with a firm voice. 



GO RAMBLES IN GERMAXV 

The spot on which he fell is still considered sacred 
by^his countrjTnen. 

Ilis funeral was conducted with solemnity by the 
French. But this was only an act of hypocrisy j such 
as instigated Berthier, then at Vienna, to declare that 
Hofer’s death would cause great paui to Napoleon, and 
that he would never have permitted it, had he been 
aware. Had Hofer suffered by sentence of the court- 
martial by which he was tried, there had been some 
colour to this assertion; but the teiegra})hic dispatch 
that commanded and hurried his execution, in spite 
of the milder dealings of the military tribunal, in fear 
lest the intercession of the Emperor of Austria would 
prevent it, could only emanate from an authority 
intimately conversant with, and bhndiy obedient to, 
Napoleon’s will. 

WTien, after landing from Elba, and losmg the 
battle of Waterloo, Bonaparte w'as taken prisoner, 
was he less an outlaw than Hofer, who defended his 
country against invasion ? His want of magnanimity 
docs not excuse that of others, but it takes from the 
respect, the compassion, and the indignation, with 
which he demanded that his imprisonment should 
be regarded. It has been justly pronounced, that 
Napoleon was not guilty of any acts of wanton 
cruelty; but the pages of his history are also destitute 
of any record of his magnanimity. 



AND ITALY. 


61 


The Emperor of Austria invited the wife of Hofer 
to Vienna. She refused to quit her native moun¬ 
tains ; and resided, till her death, under her husband’s 
roof, in tht. Valley of Passeyr. 

Such are the deeds, such the name, that shed 
glory over the rugged and romantic passes of the 
Tyrol. We continued to thread them; and the 
interest with which we regarded the scene of these 
patriotic exploits became exchanged for a more 
personal feebng of joy as we felt the climate alter, 
in token that we were advancing nearer and nearer 
to Italy. 

The valley we traversed was met here by another; 
the scenery was huge, craggj', and picturesque. 
Through this second valley is carried the road called 
the pass of the Ampezzo, the shortest road from 
Insprack to Venice. We had several times debated 
whether we should not go by it j but the wish to see 
the Lago di Garda decided our negative. 

We slept at Brixen—Bressanone is its musical 
Italian name j but we heard no Itaban yet, nor saw a 
trace of Italy. Murray calls Brixen “ a dirty, inani¬ 
mate town, of 3200 inhabitants.” We saw nothing of 
it. The inn—^the Elephant, is a pleasant, country- 
looking hostelry, on the road-side j trees grow 
in front, and it resembles the best specimen of a 
rustic inn in England. Everything was clean and 



62 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


comfortable, and the waiter spoke English. I bought 
a tiny figure of Hofer, carved in wood, to do honour 
to the " Tyroleem Champion," who, as Wordsworth 
well expresses it, was 

^ Murdered, like one aeborc by shipwreck cast, 

Murdered without relief.*' 

Wc found here the moderate charge of a good inn 
among these mountains: including what wc gave to 
senants, it was nine florins. 


Monday, Skptehber 12th. 

Ol'r journey continues through a most beautiful 
part of the TjtoI. Tlie road first lay through a 
narrow, gloomy pass, closed in by dark majestic 
clifis, till we crossed the Eisach, when the valley of 
the Adige opened on us, with the town of Bolzano— 
still lingering in Germany we called it Botzen— 
surmounted by the Castle of Eppan; again, I repeat, 
differing as these valleys and mountains do one from 
another, delightedly as the eye dwells on the un¬ 
imaginable variety of grouping which this picturesque 
and majestie region presents, words cannot describe 
it. Our road was cut in the side of a mountain, 
and wound beneath lofty crags; a narrow plain, 
with a dashing torrent, the Eisach in the depth, 
and lofty mountains closing in the valley on either 



AND ITADV. 63 

side. I have used such words before: mark the 
difference here. Fair Earth scents the gales of 
Italy, and already begins to assume for herself the 
loveliness which is the inheritance of that coxmtry. 
The slopes of the lower hills are covered by vines. 
We stopped to bait the horses at what, in England, 
would be called an ale-house, a very humble inn, 
which we did not enter; but there was a sort of 
rustic summer-house and terrace overlooking the 
Eisach. The terrace was shaded by what, in Italy, 
is called a pergola, or trellis.-ied walk of vines; the 
vegetation was luxuriant j the sun shone bright, and 
dressed the whole scene in gaiety. My companions 
felt that they were approaching scenes di'eamt of— 
ardently desired, never seen. The days of my 
youth hovered near. I stole away among the vines 
by the margin of the river, to think of Italy, and to 
rejoice that 1 was about to tread again its beloved 
soil j to find myself surrounded by my dear, 
courteous, kind Italians, instead of the Germans, 
who, honest-hearted as they doubtless are, under 
the repulsive mask that invests them, have yet no 
grace of manners, no show of that intuitive desire 
to please—none of that cordial courtesy, which 
renders the lowliest-born Italian gentle in his bear* 
ing, and eager to render sendee. 

We slept at Neumarkt, called in Italian, Egna, 



64 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


We had left our beautiful valley here; and, as is too 
often the case, in a region of transition from moun* 
tai n to plain, the soil is marshy and the district un¬ 
healthy. There was a large, new-built, clean hotel 
at Neumarkt; but though the rooms were good, the 
living was* intolerably bad, so that w^e went nearly 
supperless to bed. 


Tuesday,. Septembeb IStb. 

Still we approached Italy; the hills w'ere covered 
with vines, the road shut in by the walls of vine¬ 
yards. Various valleys’branch off at intervals, all 
affording the scenery peculiar to the Tyrol. I own 
I had no desire to linger longer in this land; we had 
continued for so many days among ravines, defiles, 
and narrow valley.s, peering up at the sky from the 
depths between mountains, that the eye grew eager 
for a view of heaven, and yearned to behold a more 
extensive horizon. When the bourne of a journey 
hes beyond, the desire to linger, even in beautiful 
scenery, is weak. Since I had left Gmunden and 
Salzburg I had experienced no desire to stop short. 

Some names of cities are so familiar, that one 
forms an idea of them in one’s mind as one does of 
a celebrated, but personally unknown, individual. 
The Council of Trent is associated with cardinals 
and bishops—shepherds of the church, legislators of 



AND ITALY. 


63 


religion: there was something princely, yet holy, in 
its idea. "WTiat we saw of it looked miserably 
dirty; grand at a distance and beautifully situated, 
on entering it, it was common-place; but, after 
all, nothing can be more deceptive than the im¬ 
pression a way-worn traveller receives^ driven, 
perhaps, .through the meanest streets to an hotel 
where, fatigued, body and min^ he reposes, and 
then is off again. Mr. P— sought out the cathedral 
and the organ, but the organist declared that the 
instrument was out of tune, whether from laziness 
or not, I cannot say. Th^ hotel was good; we 
dined at the table d'hdte. Again I was restored to 
the privilege of speech, as Italian here is as common 
as German. 

Our compact with our hhh kutschers ceased at 
Trent. \Vc paid them 140 Bavarian florins, and 
gave them 30 swanzigers as drink-gelt; a swanziger 
is the third of an Austrian florin, its worth is 
eightpence English, and is a very intelligible and 
convenient coin. The men were satisfied and we had 
no reason to be otherwise: their conduct had been, 
on the whole, negative—sullen and silent; and yet 
with a latent violence and insolence which peeped out 
as a rank weed on a grassless plain, strangely, unex¬ 
pectedly, and by no means welcome; I believe 
they thought of nothing but their drink-gelt the 



66 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

whole way. I was much more interested in the 
horses, who had done their duty rather better. 

We had now t#look out for a conveyance to 
Riva, the town at the head of the Lago di Garda, 
where we are to find the steam-boat, which is to 
convey us to its southern shores. We engaged 
a caleclie and a caratetla for twenty-two Austrian 
fiorms, and were soon on our way. We were in 
high spirits on having parted with our Germans, and 
on finding ourselves on the very verge of Italy. I do 
not pretend to say that this is a correct feeling; but it 
was natural, considering our ignorance of German. 
The valley of the Adige is very grand; and the 
stream, broad and swift, was more of a river than we 
had seen since the Danube. Several valleys branch 
oflT here; and there is another route to Venice. We 
were sorry not to see the famous Slovino di San 
Marco, or avalanche of stone, near Serravalle, cele¬ 
brated by Dante, who was for some time a guest at 
the Gastello Lizzana; where, exiled from Florence, 
he was entertained by the lord of Castclbarco. 

At Roveredo we changed horses ; our road, always 
on the descent, now became exceedingly precipitous, 
and ran on the very edge of the steep bank of the 
Adige. Our drivers were strange fellows. He who 
drove the caliche in which I sat, was a rough, 
uncouth animal; but he of the carateUa was the 



and ITALY. 


67 


most singular—^neither Italian nor German in his 
ways, wild as an untamed animal—coarse and 
vulgar as a metropolitan vagrftit. He was civil 
enough, indeed; but seemed half-mad with high 
spirits. You might have thought him half-drunk, 
but he was not—roaring and singing, and whipping 
his horses, and turning round to talk to the gen¬ 
tlemen in the caratella with a dare-devil air. I saw 
him whip his horses into a gallop, and heard him 
laughing and singing as he dashed down a road, 
which, in truth, required the drag. It was quite 
dusk—or rather, but for the stars, dark; which 
added not a httle to the apparent danger. Our 
driver, a little more tame, yet disdained the drag— 
and we went down at a rattling pace: I was not 
sorry, for I was eager to assure myself that our 
friends in advance were not u])set and rolled in the 
Adige, which rushed at the foot of the rock which 
our road bounded;—^not they,—^we reached the 
bottom, and saw the caratella dashing madly on in 
the advance. Before or since 1 never met such 
fellows; if my friends thought that Italians re¬ 
sembled them, they were indeed mistaken; they 
had none of their innate refinement, but they had 
their good humour: they were more like what one 
reads of as the wanderers of the far west—except, 
we are told, the Americans appeal’ always to calculate. 



68 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

uad 80 perhaps did these fellows; bat they had the 
outward guise of nearly being insane. 

We got to Eiv^safe. It stands exactly at the 
head of the Lago di Garda ; 

Su8o in Italia bella gtoce un laco, 

Apple dell’ alpe^ cho scrra 
Sovra Tiralli, ed ha some Benaco. 

Per mille fonti credo, e pii^ ei bagna, 

Tra Garda, e Val Camonioa o Apcnuino 
Dell’ acqua, cbe nel detto lago gtagiia. 

The coast, with the exception of the spot on which 
the town stands, is iron-bound; dark precipices 
rise abruptly from the water; a bend in the 
coast limits the view of the lake to a mile or two 
merely: behind is the chasm of the Adige, beside 
which Monte Baldo rises, lofty and dark—and 
mountains somewhat lower—^but even they, sublime 
in altitude, darken the prospect immediately behind 
Riva. The town is mean and dirty; the inn—^not 
bad to look at, is dirty and uneomfortable. It is 
kept by a large family; but how different are they 
from our Cadenabbia people! There are seven 
sisters—some dress smartly, and sit and receive 
company, and act the Padrona; others are the 
Ginderellas of the establishment; but all are lazy 
and negligent. The beds were not bad, it is true; 
but the fare was imeatable. 

We had congratulated ourselves that the steam- 



AND ITALY. 


69 


boat, which plies every other day, would leave Riva 
on the morrow of our arrival; but we found it had 
not arrived as it ought, and doufcta of course hung,* 
as it had not arrived, over the date of its departure. 

WsDNESDiY, 14 th. 

The morning has come, but no steam-boat. It 
is detained, we are told, at the other end of the lake 
by the wind. This assertion seems fabulous; we 
have no breeze, the waters ^e glassy: but thus is it 
with lake Benacus. The wind, coming down the 
chasms of the mountains, i^ not felt in the shel¬ 
tered nook in which Riva is situated; but didves with 
violence on the southem portion of this vast inland 
sea, and lashes it into tempest. 

We walked out: there is a path for a short dis¬ 
tance on one side under the rock, but the road soon 
ends; the coast, as I have said, is iron-bound. One 
of my friends began a sketch of the castle La Rocca, 
built by the Scaligers, and which forms a picturesque 
object: then I loitered in the town, delighting my 
eyes with Italian names and words over the shop- 
doors. Wc went out for a short time on the lake, 
but a shower came on—a drizzle first, which ended in 
pouring rain. We were truly uncomfortable—^forced 
into the dirty, uncomfortable inn, unprovided with 
books ; and, worst of all, quite uncertain as to the 



70 KAMBLES IN GEEMANY 

arrival of the steamer. The house is full of travellers 

similarly situated, and others continually arriving j 

• 

this does not comfort us. Our madcap drivers of 
the night before are still here; we have canvassed 
with them the expense of going by land to Venice, 
but thein demands are exorbitant. We have talked 
with the boatman, of making the voyage in a large 
open boat; but the time that this would occupy is 
evidently uncertain: besides, a lingering remnant of 
reason assures us that, if the steamer be detained by 
adverse winds at the other end of the lake, this 
wind, however favourable, must have raised a sea 
to endanger our navigation. Our projects, there¬ 
fore, have only served to cheat time a little, and are 
given up. Dinner has proved no occupation or relief; 
it was so singularly and uncomfortably bad, that it 
was difficult to eat any portion of it. Now evening 
has come, and still it rains hard; the many travellers 
are dispersed about the house in a state of listless 
anxiety. Another day like this is too fearful a 
vision: we have ceased even to speak of the chances 
of release, for we grow hopeless. The people of the 
inn finding the boat does not arrive, begin to talk of 
some accident in the machinery; conversation lan¬ 
guishes among all the groupes. I sit writing at a 
window till twilight is thickening into darkness. 
Hush! a sound—distant—^increasing; can it be the 



AND ITALY. 


71 


splash of paddles ? The bend of the lake prevents 
the boat being seen till quite close at hand; my soul 
is in my ears, listening: at length the sound draws' 
the attention of others; one by one they congregate 
near the windows, but there is silence among all, 
broken only by hurried interjections swiftly silenced, 
that each may listen more intently. At last—there 
can be no doubt—there is a burst of joy as we behold 
the smoky, but most amiable monster, double the 
headland and bear down on the town. 0, how good- 
humoured and communicative we arc all become; 
what a clatter of voices, what joyful mutual con¬ 
gratulations ! One sight we have just witnessed, is 
ridiculous to us who have the best of it—very dis¬ 
agreeable to the actors in the scene: on arriving at 
the quay the travellers poured out from the steamer, 
the porters shouldered the luggage, and all came in 
one stream to our hotel. There was no room; the 
voyagers expectant occupied every apartment. Tra¬ 
vellers and jwrtcrs went their way out again—the 
world was before them; but their choice was limited 
to some most wretched holes. 


Septehber IStb. 

We thought ourselves in all things fortunate, when 
the morrow dawned bright and sunny. We had a hea¬ 
venly voyage, which repaid us for yesterday's ennui, 



72 KAMBLES IN GERMANY 

and satisfied us that we had done the wisest thing in 
the world in entering Italy by the Lago di Garda. We 
left the abrupt, gloomy, sublime north, and gently 
dropped doAvn to truly Italian scenes. The waters 
of the lake are celebrated for their azure tint; no 
waves could be so brightly blue, so clear, so that we 
saw the bottom of the lake, fathoms below. The 
mountains sank to hills, with banks cut into terraces, 
and covered with obves and vines, decorated by 
orange and lemon-trees; the country-houses sparkled 
in the sun. One of my friends quoted the lines 
that celebrate Benacus.. Strangely enough, though 
weather-bound at Riva by one of those storms for 
which this lake is famous, we saw not a wave upon 
its surface; not even a curled ripplet, reminded us 
that it was 

teque, 

FIuctibuB et fremitur assurgenB, 

Bcnace marino. 

We landed at Lasise, a town distant fifteen miles 
from Verona, and while I employed myself in 
engaging a veturino for that place, and wandered 
about the town, my companions went to bathe in the 
clear waters of the azure lake. The promontory of 
Sirmio was in sight; an Italian landscape all around, 
an Italian sky, bright above: it was an hour of 
delicious joy—set, like a priceless diamond in the 
lead of common life—^never to be forgotten. 



AND ITALY. 


73 


O, best of all the scattered spots that lie 
In sea or lake, apple of landscape's cye,~~ 

Ilow gladly do 1 drop within thy nest^ 

With what a Mgh of full, contented rest. 

Scarce able to believe my journey o'er, 

And that these eyes behold thee safe once more ! 
Oh, where's the luxury, like the smile at heart, 
Wlicn the mind, lircatliing, lays its load apar^— 
When wc come home again, tired out, and spread 
Tiie looscnM limbs oVr all the wisbed>for bed ! 
This, this alone, is worth an age of toll. 

Hail, lovely Sirmio! hail, paternal soil! 

Joy, my bright watere, joy ; your master’s come ! 
liaugii, every dimple on the cheek of home 


• AD SIRMIONEM PENINSULAM. 

• 

Peninsularuuj, Sirmio, insularunn^uc 
Occlle, quascunque in liqncntibus stagnis, 

Mai’ique vasto fert uterque Neptunus; 

Quam tc libi'Utcr, q^uaniqiic la'tus inviso, 

Vix mi ipse crcdcus Tliyniam, atquo Bitliyiios 
Liqiiissc catnpoB, ct vidcro tc in tuto. 

O quid solittis cst bcatius curis 
Cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino 
Lahore fcssl venimus larem ud nostrum, 

Desidcratoquo acquicscimus lecto ? 

Hoc est quod unum est i>ro laboribus tantis. 

Salvo, O venusta Sirmio, atquc hero gaude; 

Gaudetc, rosque Lariw lacus undae: 

Ridetc quidquid cst domi cachinnonim. 

The above translation, from the verses of Catullus, is by Mr. Leigh 
Hunt. 


VOL. II, 


£ 



74 


EAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER VI. 

Vrrona.—Journey to Venice.—Leone Bianco,—Hotel d’ltalia. 

September 18th. 

I AM again in Italy. The earth is teeming with 
the wealth of September, the richest month of the 
year. The harvest of the Indian com has begun; 
the grapes arc hanging in rich ripening clusters 
from the vines, festooned from tree to tree: a genial 
atmosphere mantles the earth, and quickens a sense 
of delight in our hearts. The road lies through a 
richly cultivated country: the immense plain around 
us is bounded to the north by the mountains of the 
Tyrol, amongst which we seemed to have lost our¬ 
selves for an age, so refreshing, so new, so enchanting, 
is the vride expanse of fertile Lombardy, opening 
before our eyes. 

A sad disaster ha])pencd on our arrival at Verona. 
We had each our passport, and the whole was con¬ 
signed to the pocket-book of one of the party; and 
when they were asked for at the gates of Verona, 
the pocket-book was not to be found. Except our 



AND ITALY. 


76 


passports, and Coutts’ lettre (Tindication, it con¬ 
tained no papers of importance; but still, after all 
the annoyance the Austrians give about passports, it 
was rather appalling. Nothing coidd be done. It 
was remembered that when bathing, the pocket-book 
was safe; it must have been lost since.* We were 
allowed to go on to the inn, and time would shew 
the result. 

The Gran Parigi is one of the most comfortable 
hotels I was ever at j it has the air of a palace, as 
doubtless it once was. The same evening, by the 
light of the clear full moon, my companions rambled 
about the town and entered the amphitheatre, which 
IS used as a circus, and horsemanship was going on, 
and music filled the air. There was something 
startling in finding the building of ancient days 
used for its original pm’post—the seats occupied 
by numerous sjicctators; the partial moonlight 
veiled with some mysteiy what the garish sun 
bad disclosed as below Homan dignity in the as¬ 
semblage. 

You know the charm of these Lombard cities. 
Built by a prosperous people, they have a princely 
and magnificent appearance: their grandeur is what 
grandeur ought to be—not gloomy and menacing, 
but cheerful and inspiriting. The cities look built 
by a happy people in which to be happy—^by a noble 
£ 2 



76 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

and rich peojilc, whose tastes were dignified, and 
wliosc habits of life were generous. 

We were ])romised a pajier that would give us 
free course to Venice—^for our Consul was at that 
city—and we w'erc to be transferred to him, and 
meanwhile, our loss was made known in the country 
about. But, though the paper was promised, one 
or another of iny friends was emjdoyed the whole 
morning in getting it properly signed. These delays 
wer(! vexatious, more from the; uncertainty that hung 
about the whole transaction, which kept us in 
attendance and ])erplexitjf. There was no help. We 
rambled to the garden, or walled podere, in W'hich 
thci’e is an o\n‘ii fosse, and an old sort of sarcophagus, 
which they show as Juliet’s tomb. That Juliet lived 
and died, as Baldelli re-counts, there can be little 
doubt; but it is not likely that this w'as “ the tomb 
of the Capulets.” Still such a scene—a garden, with 
its high antique walls, its Italian vegetation, and the 
blue sky, cloudlc.ss above—^was a scene familiar to 
Juliet j and her spirit might hover here, even if her 
fair form was sepulchred elsewhere. It wus a long 
walk thence to the tombs of the Scaligcrs, The most 
fairy architecture—^not dark and Gothic, nor immured 
within the walls of a church;—a small open court 
encloses these elegant sepulchres. 

At length we obtained the paper, and set out. 



AND ITALY. 


77 


We had engaged a veturino for Veniee. Some hope 
had we that the raihoad might be open from Padj^a 
to Mestri; if not, we were to be taken to Fusina, 
sleeping at Vicenza in oui- way. The charm of 
autumnal vegetation, in a rich vine country, adorned 
the road, and a distant view of the Alps bounded the 
scene. Wc an-ived at Vicenza at eleven o’clock, by 
a bright moonlight. I was soriy to see no more of 
these Palladian palaces than the glimpses wc caught 
from our carriagc-wiiuhws. Arcliitcctiire shows to 
peculiar ad\antagc by the silver radiance of a full 
moon: its partial white light throws portions into 
strong relief, and the polished marble I'cflects its, so 
to speak, icy radiance. 


SEl’TEMnEB I9TH. 

We found, on our arrival at Padua, that the rail¬ 
road was not open j so wc proceeded along the banks 
of the Brcnta to Venice. Many a scene, which 1 have 
since visited and admired, has faded in my mind, as 
a painting in the Diorama melts away, and another 
struggles into the changing canvass; but this road 
was as distinct in my mind as if traversed yesterday. 
I will not here dwell on the sad circumstances that 
clouded my first visit to Venice. Death hovered 
over the scene. Gathered into myself, with my 
“ mind’s eye” I saw those before me long departed; 



78 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

and I was agitated again by emotions—^by passions— 
arid those the deepest a woman’s heart can harbour— 
a dread to see her child even at that instant expire— 
which then occupied me. It is a strange, but to any 
person who has suffered, a familiar circumstance, that 
those who m'c enduring mental or corporeal agony 
are strangely alive to immediate external objects, 
and their imagination even exercises its wild power 
over them. Shakspcarc knew this, and the passionate 
grief of Queen Constance thence is endued with 
fearful reality. Wordsworth, as many years ago I 
remember healing Coleridge remark, illustrates the 
same fact, when he makes an insane and afflicted 
mother exclaim,— 

^ Tho breezo I see is in tfic tree; 

It comes to cool my babe and me.” 

Holcroft, who was a martyr to intense physical 
suffering, alludes to the notice the soul takes of the 
objects presented to the eye in its hour of agony, as 
a relief afforded by nature to permit the nerves to 
endure pain. In both states I have experienced it j 
and the particular shape of a room—^the progress of 
shadows on a wall—^the peculiar flickering of trees— 
the exact succession of objects on a journey—^have 
been indelibly engraved in my memory, as marked 
in, and associated with, hours and minutes when the 
nerves were strung to their utmost tension by the 



AND ITALY. 


79 


endurance of pain^ or the far severer infliction of 
mental anguish. Thus the banks of the Brcnta 
presented to me a moving scene; not a palace, not*a 
tree of which 1 did not recognise, as marked and 
recorded, at a moment when life and death hung 
upon our speedy arrival at Venice. 

And at Fusina, as then, I now beheld the domes 
and towers of the queen of Ocean arise from the 
waves with a majesty unrivalled upon earth. We 
were hailed by a storm of gondolieri; their voci¬ 
ferations were something indescribable, so loud, so 
vehement, so reiterated; tilj we had chosen our boat, 
and then all subsided into instant calm. 

I confess that on this, my second entrance into 
Venice, the dilapidated appearance of the palaces, their 
weather-worn and neglected appearance, struck me 
forcibly, and diminished the beauty of the city in 
my eyes. We proceeded at once to the Leone Bianco, 
on the Canale Grande; they asked a very high price 
for their rooms, which rendered us eager, as we 
intended to remain here a month, to make immediate 
arrangements for removing elsewhere. 

Our first act was to send our letters of introduc¬ 
tion ; the second, for two of us to go out to look for 
lodgings. The account brought back by our second 
dovefrom the ark was rather discouraging; but ourfirst 
brought better things. Count-and Signor- 



80 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

loved and respected too sincerely the writer of our 
letters not to hasten on the instant to acknowledge 

them. Signor-at once pei’ceivcd and entered into 

our difficulty. I never saw such fiiendly zeal; nor was 

Count-behind in kindness, though, as a younger 

man, and not so conversant with the perplexities of 
travellers, he could not be so c^cient in his help. 

Tlic thing was soon settled. Signor-remarked 

that if we took lodgings we should want a cook, and 
that housekeeping in an imknown town, for a short 
apace of time, was fraught with annoyance. There 
was a new hotel just established, which desired to be 
made known to the English, and which therefore 
would be moderate in its charges. We went to see 
the rooms. The Hotel dTtalia is situated in a 
canal, three oar-strokes from the Canale Grande; so 
far we lost what is most to be coveted at Venice— 
the view from our window of this ocean stream, with 
its bordering palaces,—but we were udthin three 
minutes’ walk of the Place of Saint Mark. Our 
rooms wtue on the second floor, a bed-room a- 
piecc, and a salm, spacious, turned to the sun, 
and being but just furnished, clean in the excess 
of neunicss. hlany a palace had been spoiled of 
its marble architraves and ornaments to decorate 
this new hotel. We made om’ bargain; we cal¬ 
culated tliat, everything included, each of our party 



AND ITALY. 


81 


would pay nine pounds a month for lodging and 
board. 

• 

This done, we returned with our kind friends to 
the Leone Bianco, as we are not to remove till to¬ 
morrow. Evening has come, and the moon, so often 
friendly to me, now at its full, rises ovflr the city. 
Often, when hei-c before, I looked on this scone, at 
this hour, or later, for often I expected S.’s return 
from Palazzo Moccnigo, till two or three in the 
morning; I watched the glancing of the oars of the 
gondolas, and heard the far song, and saw the 
palaces sleeping in the light of the moon, which veils 
by its deep shadows all that grieved the eye and 
heart in the decaying palaces of Venice. Then I 
saw, as now I sec, the bridge of the Rialto spanning 
the canal. All, all is the same; but as the Poet 
says— 

“ The diffcrenco to me! ” 



82 


RAMBLES IN OERMANY 


LETTER. VII. 

The Ducal Palace.—The Accademia delle Belle Arti. 

Vesice, Septembeb. 

I MISS greatly the view of the Canale Grande from 
my window; however, the result, probably, of our 
being in a narrow canal will be, that I shall see much 
more of Venice : for were we among its most noble 
palaces, it would sufSce and amply fill the hours, 
merely to loiter away the day gazing on the scene 
before us. As it is, though singularly Venetian— 
the wave-paved streets beneath, the bridge close at 
hand—^the peep we get at wider w’atcrs at the 
opening,—^it is but a jiromise of what we may find 
beyond, and tempts us to wander. 

There is something so different in Venice from 
any other place in the world, that you leave at once 
all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter 
enchanted ground. We live in a palace; though an 
inn, such it is: and other palaces have been robbed 
of delicately-carved mouldings and elegant marbles, 
to decorate the staircase and doorways. You know 



AND ITALY. 


83 


the composition with which they floor the rooms 
here, resembling marble, and called everywhere in 
Italy Terrazi Veneziani: this polished uniform sur¬ 
face, whose colouring is agreeable to the eye, gives 
an air of elegance to the rooms; then, when we go 
out, we descend a marble staircase to a aircular hall 
of splendid dimensions; and at the steps, laved by 
the sea, the most luxurious carriage—a boat, in¬ 
vented by the goddess of ease and mystery, receives 
us. Our gondolier, never mind his worn-out jacket 
and ragged locks, has the gentleness and courtesy 
of an attendant spirit, and Jiis very dialect is a shred 
of romance; or, if you like it better, of classic 
history: bringing home to us the language and 
accents, they tell us, of old Rome. For Venice 

** Has floated down, amid a thousand wrecks 
Uninjured, from the Old World to the New/** 

With the world of Venice before us, whither shall 
we go ? I would not make my letter a catalogue of 
sights; yet I must speak of the objects that occupy 
and delight me. 

First, then, to the Ducal palace. A few strokes 
of the oar took us to the noble quay, from whose 
pavement rises the Lion-crowned column, and the 
tower of St. Mark. The piazzetta is, as it were, the 
vestibule to the larger piazza. 

• Rogera’* “ ItlUy.” 



84 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


But I spare description of a spot, of which there 
are so many thousand—besides numerous pictures 
by Cannaletti and his imitators, which tell aU that 
can be told—show all that can be shown: to know 
Venice, to feel the influence of its beauty and strange¬ 
ness, is quite another thing; perhaps the vignettes 
to Mr. llogers’s Italy, by Turner, better than any 
other description or representation, can impart this. 

From the piazzetta we entered a gi’ass-grown court, 
once the focus of Venetian magnificence—for, at 
the top of that majestic flight of steps which rises 
from it, the Doges wer? crowned. The cortile is 
surrounded by arcades, decorated by two magnificent 
bronze reservoirs, and adorned by statues. The 
effect is light and elegant, even now that neglect has 
drawn a veil over its splendour. Yet Nature here 
is not neglectful; her ministrations may be said 
even to aid the work of the chisel and the brush, so 
beautiful arc they in their effects. 

The Scala de’ Giganti was before us, guarded by 
two almost colossal figures of Mars and Neptune, 
the size of whose statues gives the name to the steps: 
ascending them, we found ourselves in the open gal¬ 
lery that runs round three sides of the court, sup¬ 
ported by the arcades. Yawning before us was 
the fatal lion’s mouth, receiver of those anonymous 
accusations, the terror of all, and destroyer of 



AND ITALY. 


85 


many of the citizens. Ringing a bell, we were ad¬ 
mitted into the palace. 

We do not visit it once only; day after day we 
wander about these magnificent, empty halls— 
sometimes going in by the hall of audience, some¬ 
times ascending the Scala d’Oro, we ente* in by the 
libraiy. Sometimes w'e give ourselves up to minute 
view of the many frescoes, which record the history, 
the glories, and even the legends of Venice. At 
the dawn of the art, the more than royal government 
caused the walls to be thus adorned by Gentile and 
Giovanni Bellini, and subecquently by Titian : a 
fire unfortunately destroyed their work in 1577; 
and the present paintings are by Tintoretto, Paul 
Veronese, and others. On an easel in the library, 
is a picture in oil by Paul Veronese,—^the Queen of 
Cyprus, Catherine Comaro, a daughter of Venice, 
resigning her crown to the Doge—an iniquitous act 
enough on the part of the republic; as others, 
heirs of Cyprus, with claims more legitimate than 
Catherine’s, existed. There is the gi’ace and dignity, 
characteristic of this painter, in the various per¬ 
sonages of the group. It is to be raffled for, and 
the proceeds of the lottery are to be given to the 
infant schools; but the tickets arc sold slowly, and 
the time when they are to be drawn is yet unfixed. 
There are marbles also, in this room, that deserve 



86 KAMBLES IN OEBMANY 

attention,—some among them are relics of antiquity; 
for the Rape of Ganymede is attributed to Phidias, 
and worthy of him. Sometimes we wander about, 
content only with the recollections called up by the 
spot; and we step out on the balconies which now 
command a view of the piazzetta, now of the inner 
courts, with a liberty and leisure quite delightful: 
and then again we pass on, &om the more public 
rooms to the chambers, sacred to a tyranny the 
most awful, the most silent of which there is record 
in the world. The mystery and terror that once 
reigned, seems still to linger on the walls; the 
chamber of the Council of Ten, paved with black 
and white marble, is peculiarly impressive in its 
aspect and decorations: near at hand was the 
chamber of torture, and a door led to a dark stair* 
case and the state dungeons. 

The man who showed us the prisons was a cha¬ 
racter—^he wanted at once to prove that they were 
not so cruel as they were represented, and yet he 
was proud of the sombre region over whose now 
stingless horrors he reigned. A narrow corridor, 
with small double-grated windows that barely admit 
light, but which the sound of the plashing waters 
beneath penetrates, encloses a series of dungeons, 
whose only respiratories come from this corridor, 
and in which the glimmering dubious day dies away 



AXn ITALY. 


87 


in “darkness visible.” Here the prisoners were 
confined who had still to be examined by the Coun¬ 
cil. A door leads to the Ponte de’ Sospiri—^now 
walled up—^for the prisons on the other side are 
in full use for criminals: yeai’s ago I had traversed 
the narrow arch, through the open work of whose 
stone covering the prisoners caught one last hasty 
glimpse of the wide lagunes, ciwded with busy life. 
Many, however, never passed that bridge—^never 
emerged again to light. One of the doors in the 
corridor I have mentioned leads to a dark cell, in 
which is a small door that* opens on narrow vrind- 
ing stairs j below is the lagunc; here the prisoners 
were embarked on board the gondola, which took 
them to the Canal Orfano, the drowning-place, 
where, summer or winter, it was forbidden to the 
fishermen, on pain of death, to cast their nets. Our 
guide, whom one might easily have mistaken for a 
gaoler, so did he enter into the spirit of the place, 
and take pleasure in pointing out the various power 
it once possessed of inspiring despair; this guide 
insisted that the Pozzi and Piombi were fictions, 
and that these were the only prisons. Of course, 
this ignorant assertion has no foundation whatever 
in truth. ■ From the court, as we left the palace, he 
pointed to a large window at the top of the building, 
giving token that the room within was airy and light- 



88 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


“one, and said with an air of triumph, Eeco la Pri- 
g nedi Silvio Pellico !—Was he to he pitied wheii 
he was promoted to sucli a very enviable apartini-ut, 
with such a very fine view ? Turn to the pages of 
PellicO; and you will find that, eomplaining of the 
cold of his- first darli cell, he was at midsummer 
transferred to this airy height, where multitudinous 
gnats and dazzling unmitigated sunshine nearly 
drove him mad. Tnily hi' might regret even these 
annoyances when immured in the dungeons of Spiel- 
burg, and placed under the immediate and pafeninl 
care of the Emperor—i whose endeavour was to 
break the spirit oi his rvhef hi.ldren by destroying 
the flesh; whose sedulous .study how to discover 
means to torment and attenuatii—to bhght v\-ith 
disease and subdue to despair—puts to shame the 
fly-kilhng pastime of Dioclesian. Thanks to the 
noble hearts of the men who were his victims, he 
did not succeed. Silvio Pellico bowed w'ith resigna¬ 
tion to the will of God—^but he still kept his foot 
upon the power of the tyrant. 

Having visited every comer of the palace, and 
heard the name given for every apartment, we asked 
for the private rooms in which the Doge slept and 
ate, which his family occupied. There were none. 
A private covered way led from these rooms to an 
adjoining palace, assigned for the private residence 



AND ITALY. 


89 


of the Doge. The council were too jealous to allov-’ 
him to occupy the ])alacc of the repubhc, except for 
the pm^poses of the state. 

At other times, turning to the right, when we leave 
our caual, we are rowed up the Canale Grande to the 
Accadenna dclle Belle Arti, to feast our eyes on the 
finest works of Titian. The picture usually consi¬ 
dered the chvf-d'mxirre of this artist, the Martyi-dom 
of St. I’eter t he lleiiiiit, has, for the purpose of being 
copied, heeii I'l.moved from the dark niche in w'hich 
it is almost lost in the clnu’ch of the Saints Giovanni 
and Paolo, and is here. Tim subject is painful, but 
conceived with great pow’er. A deep forest, in 
which the holy man is overtaken by his jnirsucrs, 
sheds its gloom over tlu. jiiciure; his attendant 
Hies, the mosi living horror depicted on his face; 
the saint has fallen, cut down by the sword of the 
soldier ; an angel is descending from above, and, 
opening heaven, sheds the only light that irradiates 
the scene, it is vci'y fine; but in spite of the celes¬ 
tial messenger, there is wanting that connecting link 
with Heaven,—the raptime of faith in the sufferer’s 
countenance, which alone makes pictures of martyr¬ 
dom tolerable. 

I was struck by the last picture painted by the 
venerable artist—Mary visiting the Tomb of Jesus. 
I was told that I ought not to admire it; yet 1 could 



90 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

not help doing so: there was something impressive 
in the mingled awe and terror in Mary’s face, when 
she foimd the body of Jesus gone. 

The Mairiage at Cana, by Paul Veronese, adorns 
these walls, removed from the refectory of the sup¬ 
pressed Convent of San Giorgio Maggiore. It is the 
finest specimen of the feasts which this artist delighted 
to paint; bringing together, on a large scale, groups 
of high-bom personages, accompanied by attendants, 
and surrounded by a prodigality of objects of archi¬ 
tecture, dress, ornaments, and all the apparatus of 
Patrician luxury. It ig filled, Lanzi tells us, with 
portraits of princes and illustrious men then living. 

We turned from the splendour of the feast to 
the more noble beauty of Titian’s Presentation of 
the Virgin—a picture I look at much oftener, and 
with far greater pleasure, than at the more celebrated 
Martyrdom. The Virgin, in her simpheity and 
youth; in the mingled dignity and meekness of her 
mien, as she is about to ascend the steps towards the 
High Priest, is quite lovely; the group of women 
looking at her, arc inimitably graceful: there is an 
old woman sitting at the foot of the steps, marvellous 
from the vivacity and truth of her look and attitude. 
In another large apartment is the Assumption of 
Titian. The upper part is indeed glorious. The 
Virgin is rapt in a paradisiacal ecstacy as she ascends. 



AND ITALY. 


91 


surrounded by a galaxy of radiant beings, whose faces 
are beaming with love and joy, to live among whom 
were in itself Elysium. Such a picture, and the 
“Paradiso^of Dante as a commentary,is the sublimest 
achievement of Catholicism. Not, indeed, as a com¬ 
mentary did Dante write, but as the originator of 
much we see. The Italian painters drank deep at 
the inspiration of his verses when they sought to 
give a visible image of Heaven and the beatitude of 
the saints, on their canvass. 

There arc other and other rooms, all filled with 
paintings of merit. One Ijall contains the earlier 
productions of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini. The 
genius and the elevated piety of these painters 
give expression to the countenances; but the 
dry colouring, the want of fore-shortening, the ab¬ 
sence of gi-acc everywhere except in the faces— 
which are often touchingly beautiful—^all exhibit the 
infancy of the art. 

The Academy contains also a hall for statues; in 
which the glossy marble of Canova’s Hebe looks, I 
am sorry to say, shrunk and artificial, beside the 
mere plaster casts of the nobler works of the 
Ancients. 



92 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTEE VIII. 

Chiesa do’ Prari.—San Giorgio Maggiorc.—Santa Maria della Salute. 

—Lido.—The Giudeeea.—The Fondamenti Nuovi,—The Islaods. 

—The Armenian Convent. 

Venice, Skptembek. 

There arc three churches here in particular, 
which we have visited several times, with interest; 
the most venerable, the Westminster Abbey of 
Venice, is the church of Santa Maria de’ Frari, 
built in the middle of the thirteenth century. 
Every portion of this vast and noble edifice is filled 
with tombs and pictures, exciting respect and admi¬ 
ration. Many a Doge is here buried ; and many 
monuments, some mausoleums in size and magni¬ 
ficence, some equestrian, some mere urns. Gothic or 
of the middle ages, crowd the walls. With more 
veneration we looked on the unadorned stone, 
inscribed with the honoured name of Titian. He 
died on the 9th September, 1.576, at the age of 
ninety-nine, of the plague, and the visitation of this 
calamity caused the citizens to consign him hastily 
to the grave, without thought of marking it by any 
monument or inscription, so that the spot was almost 



AND ITALY, 


93 


forgotten. The mortuary registers of the church of 
S. Tommaso prove that he then died, and was here 
buried, and his name with a few words conjoined 
have been chiselled in the pavement. The republic 
of Venice projected a monument, which the troubled 
times and invasion of Napoleon prevented their 
accomplishing. Cauova made a model subse¬ 
quently ; but, dying before he could execute it, the 
marble was entimstcd to various sculjrtors, and is 
erected in his own honour in this church on the 
side opposite to the spot where Titian lies. There 
is something vciy impressiye in the idea of this 
monument—a procession of figures entering the 
half-opened door of a dark tomb. 

There arc several ))leaslng pictures in the church, 
chiefly by Salviati; but its pride in painting is an 
altar-piece of Giovanni Bellini. He had lived long 
and painted much in fresco, when, at more than 
sixty years of age, he was initiated in oil painting 
by Antoncllo of Messina, and executed his chefs- 
d’oeuvre,—& picture in the church of San Pietro, on 
the island of Murano, and that which we have 
looked at with interest and delight in the sacristy 
of this church. “ It presents,'’ says Mr. Eio, the 
imposing seriousness of a religious composition, in 
the figure of the Virgin, and in that of the saints 
which surround the throne on which she sits; in 



94 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


the faces of the angels it equals the most charming 
miniatures for freshness of colour and ingenuous¬ 
ness of expression. A foretaste of beatitude seems 
to have warmed the old man’s soul as he worked— 
he has removed the cloud of melancholy with which 
he formerly loved to cover the Virgin’s countenance; 
he no longer paints the Mother of the seven sor¬ 
rows, but rather the cause of our joy.”* 

Exactly ojtposite our canal, at the entrance from 
the Quay to the Canale Grande, is the church of 
San Giorgio Maggiore; it is built chiefly from a 
model of Palladio, anjl is the noblest in Venice. 
Our gondola landed us at the spacious marble plat¬ 
form before the church. Its situation is most happy. 
Looked at from the Piazzetta, it is the most stately 
ornament of Venice. Looking from it, a view is 
commanded of the towers, and domes, and palaces, 
that illustrate the opposite shore. The church is 
immense, and adorned by several pictures of Titian. 
A convent adjoined, now destroyed; but as we 
rambled about, we found that they had kindly 
retained, and left open for the visits of strangers, the 
celebrated cloister, surrounded by an elegant colon¬ 
nade of Ionic pillars, and the staircase, which is 
one of the boasts of Venice. 

Somewhat above, within the Canale Grande, is the 


* De U Po£sie Chr^tienne. 



AND ITALY. 


96 


church of Santa Maria della Salute; this was built 
in 1631, a time when architecture had degenerated, 
and a multiplicity of ornaments was preferred to that 
simple harmonious style, whose perfection has to my 
eye the effect of one of HandeFs airs on the ear—^filling 
it with a sense of exalted pleasure. Here was beauty, 
but it existed even in spite of the defects of the budd¬ 
ing ; it sprang from its situation, its steps laved by 
the sea, its marble walls refleeting the prismatic 
colour of the waves, its commanding a view of great 
architectural beauty; within also it contains pictures 
of eminent merit. 

The roof of the Sacristy possesses three Titians, 
which overpaid you for twisting your neck to look at 
them. Methinks they ought to convert the exclusive 
admirer of the mystic school, who would confine 
painting to the expression of one, it is true, of the 
most exalted among the passions—adoration, love, 
and contemplation of Divine perfection. These paint¬ 
ings are, what surely pictures ought to be allowed to 
be, dramatic in the highest sense j they tell a story; 
they represent scenes with unsurpassed truth and 
vigour. The kdling of Goliath by David, is admi¬ 
rable. The countenance of the youthful hero, as he 
stands unarmed, " with native honour clad,” is in¬ 
stinct with the glow of victory, purified by his artless 
reliance on the God of his fathers. The Sacrifice of 



96 


SAMBZ.ES IN 6EBMANY 


Isaac, is the only representation of that tremendous 
B' i tiiat ever pleased me: generally it inspires pain—* 
often disgust; a father, unimpassioned and pitiless, 
about to cut the throat of his innocent and frightened 
child. But Titian’s imagination allowed him to con¬ 
ceive the feelings that must have actuated and 
supported both father and son—^that of unquestioning 
certainty that what God ordered was to be obeyed, 
not only without a murmur, but with alacrity and a 
serene conviction that good alone corddhethc result. 

la particular, the comtemucc of Isaac is the most 
touching commentary on this stoiy; it displays awe 
of approaching death, without terror; it is solemn, 
anil, yet lit up by that glance into eternity, and 
Unquestioned resignation to a will higher and better 
than his own, which alone could sanctify the horror 
of the moment. 

But, perhaps, surpassing these in power, is the 
Death of Ahel. Usually, you see a man striking 
his brother the death-blow, as it seems, with cold¬ 
blooded brutality: here, you behold the wild frenzy 
that transpoi-ted the fratricide out of himself.. I 
have seen the passion of violent and terrible anger 
well e^qjressed in two pictures only—^this one, and 
that at Berlin, where the Duke of Gueldres clenches 
his fist at his father. 

Pue day, in one of our many rambles, we tried to 



AND ITAIY. 


97 


get into a chnrch, but it was at the worst hour for 
such a visit—^between one and four—^when the 
churches are closed. We tried to find the sacristan* 
when a workman came to us—" You cannot get in 
thci-c,” he said; “hut I will show you something,” 
He took us to the building at which he was at 
work—a convent for Dominicans. The Trench, 
during their rule, suppressed all the convents ; they 
arc being levived, even in Lombardy, where, till lately, 
there were none. There was nothing attractive in 
a modem house divided off into narrow cells, two of 

which wore -wmiVowlcRS, aud jahnted out as luoy/hi. 

di ewstiffo, by our guide; but it was curious (whether 
satisfactory or not, 1 leave to others to decide,! 
this building, narrow of dimensions, mean in its 
proportions, altogether insignificant in size and 
aspect, replace the stately edifices in which monks of 
olden time passed their lives. 

The church of the Jesuits is in the ornate style 
dear to this order, and is even in worse taste than 
usual. Before the high altar is spread the imitation 
of a carpet, formed of party-coloured marbles. Even 
the pictures—many of which are by Palma—^that 
hang around, are robbed of their beauty by their 
juxtaposition to heavy, inelegant ornaments. 

We were glad to leave it, and to turn our steps 
to the church of the Saints Giovanni and Paolo, 

VOL. u. F 





EAMBL£S IN GERMANY 


!! very large and majestic edifice; it is moi’c 
venerable than any other in Venice, and belongs 
fo the middle ages; the name of the ai’chitect is 
lost: an inscription under the organ only tells us, 
that it was begun in 1246, and consecrated in 1430. 
It is filled ,with magnificent tombs of the old Doges, 
and rich in pictures by Bonifazio, Bassano, Bellini— 
the famous Martyi’dom of Titian is taken hence. 
We often wander about its vast and stately nave, 
reading, with pleasure, the historical names on the 
tombs—taking delight in the many remains of the 
.middle ages—and filled more and more with venera¬ 
tion for the energy, magnificence, and taste of the 
V^enetians. 

1 cannot tell you of all we sec, or it would take 
you as long to read my letter as we shall be at 
Venice. As we remain a month, wc do not crowd 
our day with sights ; our gondoliers come in the 
morning, and wc pass our time variously. Some¬ 
times, after visiting a single church, we are rowed 
over to Lido; and, crossing a narrow strip of sand, 
scattered with Hebrew tombstones, find ourselves on 
the borders of the ocean; wc look out over the sea 
on vessels bound to the East, or watch the fishing- 
boats return with a favourable wind, and glide, one 
after the other, into port, their graceful lateen sails 
filled by the breeze. We thus loiter hours away. 



AND ITALY. 


99 


especially on cold days, wlicn we have been chilled 
at home; but Lido has a heat of its own—its sands 
receiving and retaining the sun’s rays—^which we 
do not enjoy among the marbles and pavements of 
Venice. 

As the sun sinks behind the Euganeam^ hills, we 
rccross the lagune. Every Monday of this montli is 
a holiday for the Venetian shojjkecpcrs and common 
people ) they repair in a multitude of gondolas to 
Lido, to refresh themselves at the little inn—to 
meet in holiday trim, and make merry on the sea- 
sands. AVe pass them in |;rowds as wc return on 
that day. Our w'ay is, sometimes (according as the 
tide serves,) imder the walls of the madhouse, cele¬ 
brated in Shelley’s poem of Julian and Maddalo— 

** A wiodowless, deformed, and dreary 

Vet not quite windowlcss; for there are grated, 
unglazed apertures—against which the madmen 
cling—and gaze sullenly, or shout, or laugh, or sing, 
as their wild mood dictates. 

We often allow om’ gondolier to take us where he 
will; and we see a church, and we say, what is that ? 
and make him seek the sacristan, and get out to 
look at something strange and unexpected. Thus we 
viewed the church of St. Sebastian, which contains 
the chef-tVasuvre of Paid Veronese, the Martyrdom of 

F 2 



)(K) llAMBLES IN GEBMANY 

St. Mark. There is something in the works of this 
artist, which, without being ideal or sublime, is 
graceful and dignified—^according to the dignity of 
this world;—his groups are formed of the high-bom 
and high-bred, and all the concomitants of his 
jucturcs arc conceived in the same style of mundane 
l)nt elegant magnificence. Sometimes we walk: 
passing throi;^h the busy Mcreeria, wc get entangled, 
and lose ourselves in the calk of Venice;—wc see an 
open door and peep in, and ask where we are from 
a )>asser by; and hear a name of historic renown, and 
liiid ourselves viewing, by chance, one of the wonders 
of the place. A favourite walk is straight across 
towards the north, till we reach the Fondamenti 
Nuovi, a handsome quay, from which we command a 
view of many of the smaller islands; and far distant, 
the J ulian Alps and the mountains of Friuli. It is 
to me a most exalted pleasure to look on these 
heaven-climbing shapes. 

Sometimes, if the morning be “ kerchiefed in a 
comely cloud,” and it feels chilly, we cross merely to 
the Canale della Giudecca, which is almost a lagunc, 
and being very much wider than the Canal Grande, 
is not so convenient for common traffic; a hand¬ 
some street or quay, turned to the south, borders 
the water—which, receiving the noonday sun, forms 
a pleasant and warm promenade. 



AND ITALY. 


101 


Madame dc Geiilis exclaims, “ Quelle ville 
qne Venise! ” For those who love the eoiifnsiyri 
and clatter of carriages, the garish look of smart 
shops, and a constant ilmx and reflux of passers-by, 
it is indeed dull. Tlicre is no noise (except the 
church bells, of which there is too muchj-s-no dust; 
the waters s{)arkle silently at your feet; the marble 
palaces catch their radiance and arc dressed in 
prismatic colours, reflected from the waves. It is 
a place where you may dream away your life, quite 
forgetful of the rubs, thorns, and hard knocks of 
more bustling cities. 

But if Venice be tranquil, come with me beyond 
Venice, and tell me what name to give to the 
sujierlativc stillness that reigns M’hen we cross the 
laguncs tf) the islands—Murano, Mazzorbo, Burano 
Torccllo. Little remains on them, except the* 
churches, built in the younger days of Venice; 
several of these are magnificent in marbles, and 
interesting from their pictures, painted ui th<’ 
infancy of the art. We rambled about, and our 
very footsteps seemed unnaturally to invade the 
stillness that dwells on these desert shores, beside 
the waveless lagune. For a time we might fancy 
ourselves— 

“ The firet that ever burst 
luto that silent sea.’* 



102 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

We were pleased; but quiet became lethargy; 
and the dank grass and marshy ground looked 
unhealthy. We were glad to be rowed back to 
Venice. 

It was much pleasanter to visit the Armenian 
convent. This is the heau idSdl of gentlemanly 
and clerical seclusion. Its peaceful library; its 
cultivated and shady garden; the travelled tastes 
of its inmates, who all come from the East, 
and arc not imprisoned by their vows, but travel 
on various missions, even as far as that Ultima 
Thule which we consid’cr the centre of all busy 
life — the view of the domes and towers of 
Venice; and further still, of the Euganean hills 
to the west, and of the Alps to the north; the 
sight you caught of some white sails on the far 
ocean;—all this gave promise of ])cace without 
ennui—^a retreat—but not a tomb. 

Thus I dwell on the beauty, the majesty, the 
dreamy enjoyments of Venice. 1 will now endea- 
voiu*, though the time I stay is too short to enable 
me to observe much, to tell you something of the 
Venetians. 



AND ITALY. 


103 


LETTER IX. 

Free Port.—Venetian Siiciety.—Titlci of tbc Nobility.—The l)oui. 

—‘Infant Sehool. 

UlTOUEK. 

When I was here last, the duties on all imports 
tt) Vciiiee were high, living became expensive, and 
the city languished;—it is how a free port; every¬ 
thing enters without paying the slightest toll, with 
the exception of tobacco. Tlie Emperor of Austria 
grows a wretched jilant, to which he gives this 
name, on his jiaterual aere.s, and will not allow 
his subjects to smoke anything else. If that were 
the only misdeed of his government, I should not 
quarrel with him, but only with the people, who 
do not thereon forego the idle habit of cigars 
altogether. 

The free port gives a far greater appearance of 
life and activity to the city than it formerly had ; 
and some luxiuies—such as Turkish coffee, and, 
indeed, all things from the East, are much better 
and cheaiicr than with us. To the Venetians, 
coffee stands in lien of wine, beer, spirits, everv 



104 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

exciting drink, and they obtain it in perfection at a 
very low price. The Austrian is doing what he can 
to revive trade, so to increase his store; for two 
thirds of the taxes of the Regno Lonibardo-Vencto 
go to Vienna. He desires that railroads should be 
made, and "one is being constructed from Milan to 
Venice. Nay, they arc in the act of building a 
bridge for the railroad carriages from Mestre to 
the centre of the cityj however convenient, it is 
impossible not to repine at this innovation; the 
power, the commerce, the arts of Venice are gone, 
the bridge will rob it of its romance. 

With scarcely any exception, all the Venetians of 
the higher ranks arc at Villeggiatura at this season, 
so wc have seen but very few of them. Tlie manner 
in which the upper class live is, I fancy, monotonous 
enough. In the winter, the Viceroy comes from 
Milan to inhabit his palace, and gives a few balls. 
Some ladies open their houses for conversazioni in 
the evening; but the usual style is for each lady to 
have her circle, and the general drawing-room is 
the Opera-house; or they assemble in the Piazza of 
San Marco. There is a plentiful supply of chairs 
before the doors of the principal caffes, and they 
sit and converse. It is not etiquette for a lady 
to enter a caffe, and they arc shocked at the 
English women, who fio not perceive the difference 



AND ITALY. 


105 


between eating their ice, or sipping their coflFec, in 
the open Piazza, and entering the shop itself. 
To sit or to walk, listening to the hand, and 
exchanging visits in this glorious drawing-room, 
lighted up by the mighty lamps of heaven, is, 
especially to an unhacknied stranger; ,a vc^rv 
pleasant way of pas.siiig a summer evening. Tin¬ 
ea/^' to which the noble Venetians resort, is that 
of Suttil. Foreigners go ne.xt door to Floriau, 
where Galignani is taken in, which is an attraction 
to the English. 

That reading does not .flourish here, may he 
gathered from the fact that there is no circulating 
library, nor any literary society, such as are frequent 
in country towns in France and England, where 
people subscribe among one another for the supply of 
books. The French Consul tried to establish one, but 
did not succeed. I think it is Doctor Gregory who 
says, reading novels is better than a total incapacity 
to take an interest in books, since it enlarges the 
mind more than no reading at all. It is sometimes 
alleged, that in a state of society where there is no 
thought nor desire for the acquisition of knowledge, 
it is better not to read, than to imbibe the opium or 
exciting cordials of the usual run of novels. The 
question is, whether these works are not a step 
■towards awakening a desire for nobler and more 
V 3 



106 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


useful mental culture. Meanwhile, to live among a 

people who do not read—do not desire to learn— 

• 

presents to us a singular phasis of society. What 
can they do ? Many things, it may he said, remain 
for women in the discharge of their duties, without 
becoming ’Wrc ,* but the fact is, that a desire for 
improvement is the salt of the human intellect; that 
a wish to acquire knowledge is natural to a well-con¬ 
ditioned mind, and ought especially to exist among 
individuals of that class of society which enjoys 
uninterrupted leisure. The Italians are delicately 
organised, and have intuitive taste in music and most 
of the line arts; but accomplishments, as they are 
called, cannot be cultivated to any extent, nor can 
even a love of duty subsist among the idle, w'hich 
the Italians proverbially arc. 

Still, among the Venetians, as all over Italy, you 
must not suppose because they are ignorant—be¬ 
cause they live in a confined routine—because to 
make love in their youth, and take care of their 
money in later years, be the occupation of the 
greater number, that you find the provincial tone of 
a French or English country town. Graceful man¬ 
ners—accents modulated by the kindest courtesy— 
suavity that is all gentleness, and a desire to do more 
than please, to be useful, is innate among them—it 
reigns in every class of society, and wins irresistibly.' 



AND ITALY. 


107 


^\llcn 1 was last at Venice, many many years 
ago, I knew no Venetians, and it so happened that the 
English whom I saw chose to erect themselves into 
censors of this people, and to speak of them in 
unmeasured terms of censure. New to Italy, we 
believed those who had lived there long.* ^Shelley, 
in his letters and poems, echoes these impres¬ 
sions. I cannot pretend to say with what justice 
such opinions were formed : I do not know whether 
the Venetians are improved. If a foreigner caim 
to England, and chose to associate with the most 
vicious of our country people, both nobles and that 
worst race who live by the vices of the rich, he 
might find as much to abhor as Lord 13— repre¬ 
sented as detestable at Venice. 13ut then then- is 
another class among us,—and he declared there 
was no other here. We know, ii^deed, generally 
speaking, that Italian morality is not ours; but if 
it falls short in some things, perha])s in others, if 
we knew them well, we should be obliged to confess 
its superiority. 

The duties of husband and wife are. in England 
observed with even more sanctity than they obtain 
credit for. But in how many instances do our 
affections and duties begin and end there—with 
the exception of those exercised by the parents 
towards their very young children. We all know 



108 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


that when a son or daughter marries, they literally 
fulfil the dictum of Adam, “ therefore shall a man 
leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his 
wife.” Our family affections centre in the small 
focus of the married pair, and few and ineffectual 
arc the radii that escape and go beyond. 

Now, it must be acknowledged that, however 
endearing at the outset, however necessary and 
proper, to a certain extent, such a state of things 
may be, it often degenerates after a little time into 
the most sordid selfishness. The Italians are defi¬ 
cient in this self-dedication to one, but they have 
wider extended family attachments, of a very warm 
and faithful description. We who consider it a 
necessity of life to have a menage to ourselves— 
each couple in its nest—cannot understand the har¬ 
mony and affection nourished in a little republic, 
often consisting of grandfather and gi’andmother, 
who may be said to have abdicated power, and live 
in revered retirement—their days not counted and 
grudged, as with us is too frequently the case: then 
comes father and mother, respected and loved—and 
then brothers and sisters. If a sister marries, she 
becomes a part of another family, and goes away. 
The son brings his wife under his father’s roof; but 
the ske of their houses renders them independent 
in their daily life. The younger sons are not apt to 



^ND ITALY. 


109 


maiT}', because, in addition to their want of fortune, 
too many women, essentially strangers, would thus be 
brought under one roof, and would be the occasion 
of discord. We know how readily the human heart 
yields to a law which it looks on as irrefragable j 
submitting to single life, uncles learn to •love their 
nephews and nieces as if they were their own off¬ 
spring, and a strong family chain is thus formed. 
A question may arise as to how much of family 
tyranny turns these Unks into heavy fetters. In 
the first place, their families are seldom as 
numerous as with us. ^Hie necessities of their 
position fall lightly on the males. All over the 
world younger sons seldom marry; or only do so 
to exchange luxury for straitened circumstances ; and 
younger sons who continue to grow old under the 
paternal roof, sharing iy ny//< the luxuries to which 
they were bom, and in which they were educated, 
arc better off than our younger sons, who are often 
thrust forth from the luxurious home of their youth, 
to live on a bare pittance in a wretched lodging. 

Unmarried women all over the Continent have so 
much the worst of it, that few remain single. How 
they contrive to dispose of their girls, now convents 
arc in disuse, I cannot tell; but, as I have said, there 
are not so many as with us, and they usually contrive 
to marry. At times you may find a maiden aunt. 



110 RAMBLES IN OEKMANV 

given up to devotion, who sheds a gentle and kindly 
influence over the house. It does not strike me 
that, as regards daughters who survive their parents, 
things are much better managed with ns. 

This family affection nurtures many virtues, and 
renders the manners more malleable, more courteous, 
and deferential. For the rest, though 1 cannot pre¬ 
tend to be behind the scenes—and though, as I have 
said, their morality is confessedly not our.s—I am 
sure there is much both to respect as well as love 
among the Italians. 

The great misfortune which the nobles labour under 
is, in the first place, a bad education, and afterwards 
the want of a career. The schools for children arc 
as bad as they can be;—at their universities there is 
a perpetual check at work, to prevent the students 
imbibing libeiRl opinions; for as the governments of 
Italy consider that those who dedicate themselves to 
study and reflection are sure to be inimical to 
them, so do they look on such with jealousy and 
distrust, while sharp watch is kept on the professors, 
to prevent their ranging beyond the bounds of 
science, into the demesnes of philosophy.* Young 

* 1 remember an iastanco of the sort of interference wbiclt 
occurred in Tuscany* at tlic University of Pisa, during the mild and 
comparatively liberal reign of Ferdinand.*, It is veil known that 
during the Carnival the people promenade in particular streets (in 
Pisa on the Lungo PAmo), the gentry in tbeir carriages, and often 



AND ITALY. 


Ill 


men at college, however, are all liberal, all ardent 
for the freedom of their country, all full of the 
noblest, though too often the most impracticable 
views for her regeneration. They leave college,— 
and what is to become of them? If they have 
already distinguished themselves for Imldness of 
opinions, or even for great capacity and love of 
knowledge, they are marked men; they are not 
permitted to travel;—in auy case they have no 
career, unless they give in at once their adlierence 
to Austria; and, certainly, however hopelessness or 
misfortune may tame and induce them to do this in 
after times, at their first outset in life, an Italian 
would feel as if, in so doing, he were a traitor to his 
country. Some few there are—as many perhaps 
as with us—chosen spirits, who can jmrsue their 
course, devoted to study, or the service of their 
fellow creatures—abstracted from the frivolity or 
vices of society. But the majority have either never 
felt the true touch of patriotism and a desire for 
improvement, or find such incompatible with worldly 
pleasure. There is httle or no public employment; 

ma&kcd. The Btudenta at Pisa got up a masque of au elaborate 
kindy I think of heathen gods and goddesses, or some such thing. 
The follotviog CamiTai^ the professors, wishing to turn this play to 
nobler uses, combined with the students to get up a processiou of 
masks pcreonalitig all the illustrious men of Italian history. Govern¬ 
ment considered this a dangerous reminiscence of past glory, and 
forbsulo it. 



112 RAMBLES IN OERMANY 

the marine is but a name; the anny, no true Italian 
would enter; if they did, they would be quartered 
far away from their native country, in Hungary 
or Bohemia; they have nothing to occupy their 
minds, and of course plunge into dissipation. Play 
is the whirlpool that engulphs most of them. As 
with us during the middle of the last century—as 
among a certain set of our present aristocracy—play 
is their amusement, their occupation, their ruin;— 
many of the noblest Italian families are passing 
away, never more to be heard of, the heirs of their 
wealth having lost all iiwplay.—New men, mostly of 
Jewish extraction, who have gained by banking, stock 
jobbing, and money lending, what the others have lost 
by their extravagance, are rising on their downfall. 

A curious anomaly exists among the nobility of 
the north of Italy. It is well known that titles in 
England are on a difiFerent footing from those on the 
Continent, and-hence are far more respected. In 
England, a peer is an hereditary legislator, he is 
certain to possess a .comparatively large fortune; so 
that, to be a noble with us, is to be in the possession 
of power and influence. His sons, except the eldest, 
enjoy little of all this, and in the next generation 
they sink into untitled gentry. In Italy, indeed 
every where abroad, the descendants of a noble are 
also noble to the end of time. The individuals of 



AND ITALY. 


113 


this order, in consequence, intermarry only among 
one another, and flomish as a numerous class, ^ 
wholly apart; hut of course the respect in which 
titles arc held is greatly diminished, as power and 
fortune by no means constantly attend them. 

At present many of the most ilhistriou9 families 
of Venice and Lombardy have lost their titles. 
Thus it happened. On Napoleon’s downfall, when 
Venice and her temtories and other parts of 
Northern Italy were ceded to Austria, the king¬ 
dom Lombardo-Veneto was formed, and all thosi- 
persons who wished to become nobles of the new 
state, were ordered to prove their titles by producing 
the diplomas and documents establishing the same. 
The Venetians could easily have complied, since 
the names of the nobility were, under the republic, 
inscribed in the libro d’oro; for, although the 
original of this book was burnt by the republicans 
in 1797, several copies existed; and the Venetian 
nobles were informed, that on presenting a petition 
to request leave, and paying the tax or fees, 
they might retain the titles of their forefathers. 
Many who were descended from families which had 
given doges to the state, refused to petition.— 

“ MTiat is the house of Ilapsberg,” they said, " that 
it should pretend to ennoble the offspring of old 
Rome ?” Nor would they deign to request honours 



114 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


from the invaders of their country, who carried their 
insolence so far as to demand proof of noble origin 
from those who, for centuries, had illustrated the 
pages of history with their names.* 

The nobility of Lombardy were also called upon 
to ask fdr the confirmation of the titles which they 
already possessed, by producing the documents 
that proved them. Very few were able to comply, 
as the Jacobins had destroyed their papers when 
they seized on all public and private archives, and 
burned them. Thus many of the most ancient and 
illustrious families are deprived of the titles which, 
for centuries, they enjoyed. These regulations con¬ 
cern that portion of Lombardy lately incorporated 

* All tlic aristocracy—or as they call il, i\ic famiglie iriOunizie of 
VenkCf consider thciubclvcs descended from old Koman families of the 
Equestrian order, and tlie names of sevctul seem to attest tlio validity 
of this pretension. Padua sent a colony to the island of Uivo Alto, or 
KioltOt in 421 > and the command for the building of the new city 
entrusted to Alberto Faliero, Tommaso CatuUaiio, and Cciiune Daulu, 
or Dandolo. Honce it appears proliablc that the families of Faliero, 
Candiano, and Dandolo are descended from the Roman patricians who 
were present at the iirst building of the city of Hialto. In the 
ninth century the seat of Tcuetiaii government was transferred from 
the island of Rialto to Eraclca, and the independence of Venice 
was establudied. Now, before and after that epoch it. may be 
said Venice was the only city in Kuropc, wliicli from its foundation 
for fourteen untunes never submitted to a fort'ign yoke: and it is 
•aid that the old Venetian families have preserved in their lineaments 
the' primitive character of the race whence they sprung. Dr. Edwards 
having examined carefully the portraits of the series of doges, and com¬ 
pared them with the couutcuances of their actual descendants, comes to 
this concluuoiu 



AND ITALY. 


115 


in tlie Austrian kingdom. With regard to the 
Milanese nobility, and that belonging to the states 
which Austria possessed before the French Revo¬ 
lution, the edicts touched only the new nobility, 
for which the Austrian government entertained an 
antipathy, and was desirous of finding a pretepee for 
depriving of rank ; it was often enabled to succe<^d 
by taking advantage of some flaw in their diplo¬ 
mas, or in the manner in which they had fulfilled 
the conditions contained in the article of the con¬ 
stitution which treats of feudal tenures. It also 
forced the nobles of Lombardy, who had received 
additional rank, to choose whether they would belong 
to the ancient nobility by their old titles, or to the 
modern by their new. Litta and Visconti, who had 
been made dukes, as well as others who had been 
advanced in rank, chose the former, and thus, though 
of ancient race, belong to the new nobility. 

But to return to the more important topic of the 
state of knowledge in Italy—for this matter of titles 
is held by themselves in great contempt, and only 
thought of as marking the desire of Austria to 
arrogate power and to annoy. The Italians cart! very 
little for titles; and I have often heard them say, 
that imtil they visited France or England, they 
scarcely knew^or cared whether they possessed any. 

You must not suppose, from what I say, that Italy 



116 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


in no way shares in the enhghtenment of the present 
times. Moreover, the Emperor of Austria admits 
the diffusion of science in his dominions. Happy 
Italians, to whom is conceded one path, on which their 
minds may proceed in the journey onwards for which 
God erfcated man. The Austrian government is 
aware that their own native subjects can go pottering 
on with theories and science, without one aspiration 
to become men, in the free and noble sense of self- 
government, stirring in their hearts: it supposes that 
it will be the same in Italy; but the people of this 
country are made of different clay j and it seems to 
me, that as Jehovah hardened the heart of Pharaoh 
for his own destruction, so does he soften the heart 
of Prince Mettemich, thus to admit a system of 
improvement into Lombardy, which wUl hereafter 
prove the instrument of the overthrow of his power. 
Science is generally pursued by clever Itahans 
as a mode of employing their imderstandings, which 
does not excite the suspicion of government; and 
scientific meetings, such as assemble with us at 
stated times in the great provincial towns, take 
place yearly in Italy. This season the learned met 
in. Padua; and at the inn where we refreshed our¬ 
selves in that city, we found tables spread for three 
hundred ItotH, as they are called. . A ridiculous 
story came to us the other day from across the 



AND ITALY. 


117 


lagune. A student of the university looking over 
the bridge, and seeing come up the river a barge 
full of pumpkins, cried out, “ Vengono i dotti—see, 
they have sent their heads before them!” Testa di 
ziicca, or j>unipkin-hcad, answers to our phrase of 
blockhead. This, however, was regarded as a serious 
insult, and the offender has been put under arrest, 
and is to be imprisoned till the great men leave 
Padua. 

There is another point for which the government 
shew's toleration, on condition that its own political 
catechism is taught—infant schools. I visited one, 
and was much interested. It belongs to our district 
of Venice, and is one among many. It was for both 
boys and girls under the age of nine. I saw the 
girls’ room first. They Icam according to the system 
now prevalent everywhere for teaching the poor— 
Bell’s and Lancaster’s, as it used to be called. There 
were some thirty or forty girls; and I am sorry to 
say they did not shew so well as the boys; the cause, 
1 trust, being that the head-teacher, a priest, at¬ 
tended only to the latter. I do not mean to detract 
from the governesses who presided over both schools: 
they seemed sensible and zealous, and in every way 
the whole thing was respectable. But the priest, 
a young man, has a passion for arithmetic; he 
teaches it with ardour to his pupils, who have a 



118 


KAMBLES IN GERMANY 


happy knack for the same; and the sums wc wit¬ 
nessed brought to a happy conclusion by these little 
fellows, all under nine years of age, and one between 
seven and eight being the clci'crest, were to me quite 
prodigious. Once the master disputed a point; the 
boys insisted they were right, and so it proved. We 
gave the sums. As to the correctness of the compu¬ 
tation, we trusted a good deal to the honour of the 
governesses and master; but in truth, to see the eager 
and intelligent way in which the boys answered, was 
quite sufficient, for no one could be so ready and glad 
unless he felt himself jn the right. These children 
were not iiretty. I have often remarked, that hand¬ 
some as the Italian common people are, their children 
(probably from bad food) arc seldom good-looking. 

Unfortunately, when the children leave the infant 
schools, their education ends; they fall back on the 
habits of indolence and ignorance indigenous here. 
How far their arithmetical studies may conduce to 
their honesty, I cannot guess. I am not one of those 
who say, 

“ Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.” 

A little light is better than total darkness; especially 
inTtaly, where the cleverness of the people prevents 
their ever ^oming stupid. They must learn some¬ 
thing; an« litde^good is better than all bad. 

tA 



AND ITALY. 


119 


LETTEH X. 

Venetian Palaces.—Gondolieri.—Basilica of St. Mark.—Opera.— 
llluuiination of the PVnicc. 

Venice, OcxoiiKa. 

M ANY of the palaces of Venice still j)reserve their 
jiicturcs, and shew, in their nninbcrs and beauty, the 
wealth and taste of the families in old time. The 
Palazzo Manfrin contains, I think, the largest and 
most choice collection. It has some incomparable 
pictures by Giorgione, the contemporary, and rival, 
of Titian, lie also was a puj)il of Gian BcUini. 
but invented a style of his own, and first painted 
with that richness and grandeur of colouring which 
is the pride of the Venetian school. Ilis pictures in 
the Palazzo Manfrin are wonderfully beautiful. The 
Deposition from the Cross, by Titian, is here: 
indeed, the collection is in every respect magni¬ 
ficent, and deserves many visits. In the Palazzo 
Mocenigo (which Lord Byron inhabited—^the/e 
arc two palaces Mocenigo: it is one of the most 
illustrious families of Venice), there ^ the design for 
the Paradiso of Tintoretto. In the Palazzo Fisani 



120 KAMBLES IN GEKMANY 

is an admirable picture by Paul Veronese—^the 
Family of Darius at the feet of Alexander. It rises 
above bis usual style of mere portraiture into the 
ideal. There is the true chivalrous expression in the 
mien and countenance of the youthful victor—^thc 
grandcu* of habitual command^ the dignity resulting 
from noble ambition; at the same time, you see that 
his very soul is touched by compassion for the fallen 
princesses, and the ingenuous shame which a generous 
mind feels on beholding those lately placed so high 
humiliate themselves before him, mantles in his face. 

In the Barberigo Palace is the Maddalcna Sca- 
pigliata of Titian. Her eyes, sw'ollen and red, are 
raised to heaven, and her face is disfigured by much 
weejung. Her remorse, her vehemence of grief, 
differs wholly from the tender sorrow, chastened and 
suj)ported by faith, of Con-eggio’s Magdalen. At 
first sight, the deformity of her features produced by 
violent weeping, is almost repulsive j but the picture 
gains on you; the real beauty of the countenance— 
a something of noble aud soft, in spite of passionate 
sorrow and self-abasement.—is perceptible through 
her tears. 

We were taken to-day to see a modern picture 
painting for the Emperor. It is on a large scale— 
Foscari taking leave of his Father; his mother is 
fainting; the Doge, struggling with contending 



AND ITALY. 


121 


emotions, turns half away. The best figure is that 
of the son: the feebleness arising from physical 
suffering—veneration for his seemingly severe parent 
—^grief, tenderness, and resignation—^are well ex¬ 
pressed in his kneeling figure and downcast face. 

The Venetians are much interested at this moment 
by the restoration of the Pala of the high altar of 
St. Mark’s. It required an order to view it and the 
other precious objects preserved in the Treasury. 

The Basilica of San Marco is the most singular 
among the edifices of Venice. Its strange Arab 
architecture denotes its greatjmtiquity. The ancient 
chapel of St. Theodore (who, before the transfer of 
the body of St. Mark, was the j)atron saint of the city), 
built in 552, was incorporated in 828 in the ancient 
church of St. Mark, at the time when the bones of 
the Saint arrived. These edifices being consnmc#by 
fire, the foundations of the present were laid in 976, 
and completed in 1071; but even until the middle 
of the last century its internal decorations were not 
completed. 

Every portion glistens with precious stones. Its 
walls are covered with pictures in Mosaic: its pave¬ 
ment, and the five hundred columns that adorn it, 
arc composed of verde antique, jasper, porphyry, 
agate, and the most precious marbles. Usually, one 
cares little for such things; but here the barbaric 

VOL. II. G 



12.2 


WAMBLES IN OUKMANV 


iiiagnificencc—the Eastern aspect—the tombs of 
lieroes it contains, and its association with the 
glories of the republic—combine to render the 
tribute of Mammon to Heaven interesting. 

The high altai' has two I’ale; one covers the 
other. The internal one, a curio.sity from its ricli- 
lurss, has been taken down to be rcpaii’cd. It is called 
the Pula d’oro, and is formed of enamel paintings 
on silver and gold, encrusted with a profusion of 
gems; it was executed at Constantinople by order of 
the Doge Piero Orseolo, uneler whose reign the 
Basilica w'as finishe^d. It now forms tins delight of 
Venice, and many noble ladies have contributed a 
quantity of gems, to replace those that have been 
lost. It is a curious specimen of the state of the 
arts in the middle ages, before it revived and 
reoMved a soul from the great painters of Tuscany 
and Umbria. It is all glitter and richness, and a 
sort of barbaric elegance, without real taste. 

The treasure of St. Mark once overflowed with 
w'calth, in gems, pearls, and worked gold, chiefly 
transferred from Constantinojile; these have all dis¬ 
appeared ; the only objects that attract attention are 
an antique porphyiy vase, with letters carved on it, 
-such as are found in Persej»olis—and a golden rose, 
one of those which it was the practice of the popes to 
present on certain occasions to catholic sovereigns. 



AND ITALY. 


123 


This had hccn presented to a doge of Venice; it was 
no meagre gift, being a very large hough, bearing 
many roses, all formed of the precious metal. 

Each day wc gi’ow' more familiar with this delight¬ 
ful city—favoiu'ite of Amphitritc and the Nereids; 
the little roots, generated by sympathy shi^l enjoy¬ 
ment, begin to strike out, and I shall feel the violence 
of transplanting when forced to go. I look wistfully 
on some of the palaces, thinking that here I might 
find a pleasant, peaceful home; m)r is the; idea, tlutugh 
inipraeticabl(! for me, wholly visionary. S<Y(n-al of 
the palaces, bereft of their *)ld possessors, are used 
for public officc.s, or are let at a low rent. It is easy 
to obtain a house, who.se marble stairca.se, lofty 
halls, and elegant architecture, surpass anything to 
be found in France or England. S(weral English 
gentlemen have taken apartnumts, and fitt(-d tliem 
up with old furniture, and find themselves, at slight 
cost, surrounded by Vcne.tian grandeur. No one can 
spend much money in Venice.:—a gondola is a very 
inexpensive carriage; hiring one, as we do, costs four 
swanzikers a day—about four pounds a month, with 
a huona mano of half a .swanziker a day' to the gondo¬ 
lier, on going away. 

Of course, if settled, you mu.st build your own 
gondola; and to be r&tpectahle you must have tw'o 
ffondolieri in livery. The apj)carance of the boat- 



124 


RAMBLES IN OERMANA' 


dressed like footmen is, to my eye, the only 
inharmonious si<rht in Venice. Tliesc men used to 
be reservcid oidy for the use of the gondola and 
carn’ing messages ; hut in these ]) 00 i'er days, they 
serve as domi^stics in tlu! house; they arc still, how¬ 
ever, a rade a))art, tlioroughly acquainted with every 
nook and eonier of the city; intelligent, alert, 
zealous ; ready (as u'c wenr told of old) to do any 
had (rrraml; hut with sucli having nothing to do, 
we know nothing. We have two gondolas in our 
])ay. One of the (/ondolieri is a favourite, Beppo, 
No. .‘i()3; th(! other, Marco, 307. "VVe have no 
faidt to find with either; and they join intelli¬ 
gence to exaefness. At first, we would not engage 
Marco, because, accustomed to foreigners, he was 
proud of his scraps of bad French. W<^ made a 
bargain with him that he should always speak 
Italian—Venetian we w'ould not insist upon, for wc 
should not understand him. I am almost sorry to 
know nothing of Venetian; it was the first dialect 
formed from Latin that was written. At the time 
when, in the other cities of Italy, the annals were 
drawn up in barbarous Latin, the Venetians made 
their records in their vernacular tongue, which 
remain to this day in multitudinous volumes in the 
Library of St. Mark. It has been averred that the 
first colonists from Padua brought this dialect of the 



AND 1TA1.Y. 


125 


Latin with them, and that it is a remnant of the. 
vernacular of llonian Italy. Nine centuries later, 
the Ibigua Toscana could scarcely be said to exist; 
th(‘ language of Bruiietto Latini, Dante’s master, 
being vei-y scant and inefficient. 1 am told that 
Dante himself hesitated whether to write liis 
“Divina Comedia” in Latin or Venetian, till 
fortunately he became aware that the talk of the 
common peo|)le of Tuscany j)ossess(Ml all the ele¬ 
ments of ex])rcssion; and lu;, collecting them with 
that life-giving power pro|)er to genius, ‘‘ created 
a language, in itself heroic and persuasive, out 
<jf a chaos of inharmonious barbarisms.”* There 
is, 1 believe, even at this day, gieater scoj)e for wit 
and airy grace in A'enetian than in 1’u.scan. 

The gondolieri often sing at their oars; nor are 
the verses of Tasso quite forgotten. One delicious 
calm moonlight evening, as we were walking on the 
Piazzetta, an old gondoliere challenged a younger 
one to alternate with him the stanzas of the “ Geru- 
salemme.” I have often wished to hear them. It 
was a double pleasure that I did not do so by 
command, but in the true old Venetian way, two 
challenging each other voluntai'ily, and taking uj) 
alternate stanzas, till one can remember no more, 
and the other comes off conqueror. We arc told 


* Shcllcy*6 “ Defence of Poetry.’ 



126 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


tliat the air to which they sin{? is monotonous : 
so it is; yet well adapted to recitation. The anta¬ 
gonists stood on the Piazzetta, at the verge of 
the laguna, surrounded by other goivAolieri —^the 
whole scene lighted up by the moon. They 
chanted the favourite ]>assagc, the death of Clorinda. 
1 could only follow the general sense, as they 
recite in Venetian ; but the subject of the verse, 
high and heroic, the associations called up—^the 
beauty of the spot—a sort of dignity in the ges¬ 
tures of the elder boatman, and nothing harsh, 
though it might be monotonous, in their chaunt 
—the whole thing gave; me iuc.xprcssible jjleasun; 
—it was a Venetian scene, dressed in its best; 
and the imagination was wrapped in perfect 
enjoyment. 

The w’ceks pass away, and we arc soon, 1 am 
sorry to say, about to leave Venice. We have taken 
our sight-seeing quietly, and each day has had a 
novel jdeasure. It is one of our amusements to visit 
the piazza of San Marco at two in the afternoon, 
when, on the striking of the hour on the great clock, 
the pigeons come down to be fed. These birds 
are saered to Saint Mark, and it is penal to kill any. 
They lead a happy life, petted by all the citizens. 
Now and then they may be served up at the dmner 
of a poor man; but they are too many not to spare. 



AND ITALY. 1127 

without {Trudging, an individual or two for the good 
of their maintaiuers. 

We liavc visited the arsenal, a monument of tlie 
glory and commerce of Venice; silent, cmjtty, use¬ 
less. One poor brig lies in the harbom’j it served 
during the late war in the East; and the yowig officer, 
who kindly acted as eieeronc, had captured a Turk¬ 
ish dag, which showed Iresli among aneieut Venetian 
troj)hies. It seemed only a pretty compliment when 
1 told him, that it gave me more ])leasure than all 
the curiosities he was show ing us; hut I spoke the 
simple truth. Anything thaj demonstrates the valour 
and spirit of the present race of Italians, is more 
satisfactory to behold, than all the cobwebbed glories 
of old times. 

No good o])cra is going on here. The Fcnice, 
the large tlieatre, is only oj>cn during carnival. The 
most })opular amusement is the fatnifflia Viauesi, 
about half a dozen children, who sing the liarhierc 
di Seviglia and the Elisir dAmora. It was very 
wonderful, but not pleasing. There is a young 
and pretty prima donna—a mezzo soprano—Gazza- 
niga, who takes the part of Romeo in the Montecchi 
e Capuletti, and sings it vci*y nicely; and there is an 
amusing buffo. 

A grand opera w'as got up at Padua during the 
visit of the Dotti, and even Taglioni was engaged. 



12S RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

There was a talk of her comnijr to Venice, hut it fell 
to the ground. However, alter the learned had 
dispersed, the operatic coinj)any crossed the lagnne, 
bringing tlie decorations of Jiohert h Diabh. The 
Italians do not unilerstuiid German iiiu.sic. They 
bring it <inl because; it has been ])raised; but they 
tlo not like it; and alter it, and try to make it coin¬ 
cide with their taste, and sj)oil it com])letely. 

The Emj)eror Ferdinand’s uncle, and the heir pre- 
sum|)tivc of the imperial crown, is come to spend a day 
here, and it is thought proper to mark bis visit by a 
festival. The Fiaz/a di^ San Marco has been illu- 
ininated—oidy with a mezza illumiuazione, but still 
it was very beautiful; nor can anything be otherwise 
in the uiagnilieent theatre of this stalely scpiare. 

In addition they o)>ened the opera-house of the 
Fciiice, anil lighted it iij). An tlluiniuara in one of 
the great o))cra-houses is almost a national event in 
an Italian town : 1 never witnessed one before, and 
now eould understand the e.vciteincnt that it occa¬ 
sions. The price of bo.ves was very high, some sixty 

swanzikers and more. Signor-kindly brought 

me the keys of a %’cry good box, ojipositc that occu¬ 
pied by the royal party. We went early; the whole 
house was full; the passages and corridors, all bril¬ 
liantly lighted, were filled with the common people 
—admitted without pajing. Nothing could be more 



AND ITALY. 


129 


ariiinatpcl, more fray. Our gondolier, one of whose 
offices this is, jiaid for us, and showed us the way to 
our box. WIkui the door ofuaied we were dazzled; 
it «as like a scene in fairy land. Accu.storiied to our 
few wax candles, and the deforniing, somljix; light of 
gas. the iiiiiuiueralile lights that shed inoBe than day 
over till' wliole house, |)rodu<‘ed an effect of brilliancy 
and elegance (|uiTe. indescribable. 

There hud been innch debating as to the ojiera, 
Gazy.aniga wished to have the Moiitecchi <■ Vapti- 
IcHL as .she shone in the part of Romeo ; but the 
prinio buffo did not like lo be excluded from singing 
before Jl. H. 1. II Accordingly, the opera of Chi 
dura riiwi! vvas fixed on, in which Ga/zaniga hud a 
prominent serio-eomic part. The story of the play is 
sniiilar lo that, of oiii' Jlonri/monn. : and the way in 
which she acted the angry, leloded lir'de was very 
amu.sing. Tin.', ojiei'a is by liieci, and has a few 
agreeable airs in it—though nothing rising above 
mediocrity. Th(' Archduke went away before, the 
opera vva.s over. Royal [lersonagcs labour so very 
hard ; and the Archduke was to leave Venice at four 
the following morning, lie went in a .steamer to 
view the sea-wall building at .Malainocco, and thence 
is to proceed by steam to Trieste. Another steamer 
accomjianied him; and the first people of Venice, 
and all .strangers, were invited, as for a jiarty of 
o 3 



130 


llAMBLES IN GERMANY 


I)leasur(!. I had a sort of fore-feeling 1 should not 
like? it; for though I was assured the steamer would 
niuk(! the voyage in the lagune on this side 
Lido, 1 did not quite believe that to b(^ possible. 
So it proved—the steamers took to the open sea, 
which Will! rather rough; and themgh plenty was 
provided to refresh and entertain the guests, very 
little was eaten. 



AND ITALY. 


131 


LETTKK XI. 

Journey to Florence.—Cold and rainy Season.—Excursion to Val. 
lomhrusa, 

OcTOUF.B .'iOlII. 

We have taken flight, ovtir plain, river, anti 
mountain, and are arrived in the hesintiful city of 
Italy—Firenze la Bella. W’e parted excellent friends 
with the host of Flldtel d’ltalie, who had shown 
liiinself anxious to ])lease, and fair in his dealings. 
A vrMurino journey is always somewhat tediotis, and 
the deep roiids neighbouring the l*o, having been 
damaged by rain and flood, our prttgress was more 
than usually slow. We were drawn by two admi¬ 
rable little horses, and their avaricious master taxed 
their strcngtii to the utmost. He had demanded 
more from txs, alleging the necessity of extra horses, 
but grudged the price asked, and went on merely 
with his own. The stinginess of this fellow had 
its reward in riches, for he told us he W'as called II 
Milioriuo. This it is that makes avariec an incu¬ 
rable vice. It ean never be satiated, for it ever 
wants more; and it is seldom disappointed, for if 



132 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

gains its ends more passively than actively, and its 
success depends on self, not on others; but this it is 
also that renders it so despicable. “ Tell him his 
soul lives in an alley,” said Ben Joiison, when 
Charles I. sent him a niggard gift. Tlie souls of 
the avaricbms live in the narrowest of all alleys; 
they are shut up in the dreariest solitary eon- 
lineuient, from which they have not the spirit to 
cscajie. 

We contrived to i)eep at a few pictures. At Pa¬ 
dua, we paid a hurried visit to one or two ehurches 
adorned by freseocs by some of the earlier masters, 
admirable, for the artl(!ss gesture—the earnest, rapt 
expression—the j)ower of shewing the soul breathing 
in the face, hh ery painter who aims at the ideal— 
at expressing the ])urer and higher emotions of the 
soul, ought to make a jjarticular study of these early 
Christian jraintings ; they must not imitate them— 
true genius, indeed, cannot imitate. He can catch 
the light which the labours of his predecessors throw 
over his path; but he will proceed on one shaped 
out by himself. To imitate Perugino would be 
to MTite poetry in the obsolete language of Chaucer. 
Yet cverj’ English writer ought to be familial* with 
the pathos, sweetness, and delicate truth of one of 
our greatest poets. 

I was sorry not to spend more time at Ferrara; 



AND ITALY. 


133 


and in particular not to revisit the galleries, and 
palaces, and churches of Bologna. To have seen 
these once was no excuse for not seeing them again; 
but 1 could not. 

1 cannot say why, but the impression left on my 
mind of the passage of the Apj)cnines»had been 
unfavourable, and I ivas agreeably surprised to liud 
the sccnciy far more varied—richer in wood, and 
more jiieturesque tliun J expeettid. Thi; mountain 
inns are all much improved since I last crossed. 
Kveuing closed as the. valley in which Floreiu* is 
situated opened befori; iisj the dciscent is i-apid, 
ending almost at the gate of the city itself. We 
traiersed it af its greatest length, fi’om the I’orta 
San Gallo to SehneiderfF’s Hotel, where vciy un¬ 
comfortable rooms were assigned to us. 

This, and the exjKaise of the hotel, made us eager 
to tak(! apartments. I was instantly employed in 
the wearisome task of tinding them. Tlierc are a 
great many, but still it was difficult to find such as 
wc wanted. There were several numerous and 
handsome suites of rooms at a high price, and a great 
number of narrow and uncomfortable ones tolerably 
chca]). Neither suited us. We at last fixed on a 
second floor, on the Lungo I'Arno. The rooms are 
nearly all turned to the south, and look over the 
river: they are not large, but they are clean and 



134 BAUBLES IN GERMANY 

neat. We arc sure of the sun whenever he shinesj 
which is a great desideratum, especially in an Italian 
winter, when the preseuee of sunshine often admits 
of an absence of fire. We have engaged oiir rooms 
for four months. It is veiy cold—as cold as it can 
be in Engliuid. 

NovEHUEK. 

To cold has succeeded rain, with a few sunny days 
to break the dreariness of the season; but I believe 
you in England arc enjoying fine weather, and, 
strange to say, we hear that in Rome and Naples 
the rain is still more continuous and chill. Walking 

is out of tlie question; and driving,-how 1 at 

onc(! ciny and despise the happy rich who have 
earriag<!s, and who use them only to drive every 
afternoon in the Cascinc—^the Hyde 1’ai‘k of Florence. 
If I eould, 1 would visit every spot mentioned in 
Florentine histoiy—^visit its towns of old renown; 
and ramble amid scenes familiar to Dante, Boccaccio, 
Petrarch, and Macehiavelli. 

Tlie fault of Florence is, that it is built in a basin, 
too entirely and too closely shut in by mountains, 
which collect the clouds, and render the air stagnant; 
so that it is hot in summer; and in winter, when 
there is snow on the Appenincs, sharply cold. Now 
that there is no snow, the season being mild, we 
have the other alternative of rain and mist. Some- 



AND ITALY. 


135 


timns the Arno rises so high that it threatens a flood: 
on these occasions, it is watched and guarded like a 
wild ))cast, and every inch, as it rises, is jn’oclaimed. 
J like to hear it, roaring and rushing in its course— 

]*cr aver pace co* scgtiaci sui,” 

as Dante says of tlic I’o; and any one firjtnessing 
the turbulence of these tideless Italian rivers when 
swollen by rains; who views their precipitate sjiecd, 
and li.stonsto their thunder, as the mountain torrents, 
named by the poet their pursuers, come dashing after, 
to augment their fury—whoso sees this, is conscious 
that in this passage Dante disjilays his ))eculiar and 
high power of putting a sentient soul into nature, 
and rc[)rcsenting it to our minds by images suggested 
by a quick and poetic feeling of her vitality. 

During the intervals between the rainy days, the 
mists hang as dense and low over the city as they 
used to rest over the valley of Dolgelly during last 
year’s wintry summer. But when the sun does 
shine, and when the smiles of Nature call me forth, 

1 cross the Ponte allc Grazie—1 leave the town by the 
gate of San Miniato, and asmid the steep hill to the 
platform before the little elegant church (San Miniato 
fuorc dellc mura) on which Michael Angelo delighted 
to fix his eyes, calling it “ La hella mllanella.” From 
the height, you command a view of the city, 
crowned by dome and tower, of the Appenine that 



136 KAMBLES IN GERMANY 

slopes down to cradle it in its green lap; and of the 
Amo, that, having forced its way among the moun¬ 
tains, now hurries on towards the marine ])Iain. 
This view, and the climate also of Florence, was 
injured not many years ago, when the forests, that 
clothed riic mountain sides, were cut dowm, to be 
replaced by the olive—a more profitable gi-owth. But 
the removal of tin; forests opened the gullies of the 
hills ; took awiiy the check formerly opposed to the 
violent trainontana; which coll(!Cts its strength on the 
snowy peaks, and rushes down the bared sides with 
mightier power. 

1 look on those glorious hills, and turn to a maj) 
of Italy, and long to lose myself in their depths, and 
to visit every portion of Tuscany; every smaller 
town and secluded nook of which, is illustrious 
through historical association. It is my dream to 
set out some day on this ramble, and see places 
untrod by the usual tourist; but now 1 cannot. 

However, we could not resist the temptation of 
visiting V^allombrosa. It is tme this is not the season 
for excursions, autumn being too far advanced; but 
a fine day gave us promise, we hoped, for the same 
on the mon-ow : so we hired a vettura and set out. 

The road skirts the river, and winds up the 
Valdarno, the slopes of whose inclosing hills are 
thickly studded with country seats. It was a 



AND ITALY. 


137 


showciy day; but the sun shone at intervals, and 
brightened the stream and mountain sides. The 
road is new and good. At about one o’elock we 
reached a small town where a cattle fair was going 
on.* After some little delay, however, we got 
ponies and a guide, and proceeded. We mow fell 
upon a true mountain path, winding up the hill 
beside a brawling torrent; the crags rose high 
above, and the brauches of noble forest-trees were 
spread over our path—truly they werc in the sear 
and yellow leaf; but the place was the more conso¬ 
nant w'ith Milton’s verse— 

Thick :is autumnal leaves that strow the brooks 
In Vallombrosa, where tb’ Etrurian shades 
High over-arched embower.** 

As wc climbed higher, a shower of sleet came on, 
and we anived wet through at the Convent. No 
women are admitted within these sacred walls, but a 
forestiera is built adjoining for our accommodation. 

The grassy plain, or platform, before the Convent 
is at the head of a huge gully or ravine, which 

• “ What were tho turkeys a pound ? ** asked o\ir guide of some 
l>easants returning from the fair. Seventeen quatrini,** was the 
reply. It requires a complex sum to reduce this to Euglish value. 
There arc bve quatrini to a crazic>—eight crazie in a }>aul—and a juinl 
is about ; in addition, the turkeys were bought alive with their 
feathers on, and the Italian pound conUins only twelve ounces. This 
was the market price in the country. Every edible |>ayc a duty on 
entering Florence. 



138 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


slopes down towards the valley of the Amo. A 
mist hung over the scene; but in summer-time it 
must be—what it is named—Paradise. 

Vallombrosa is situated on the verge of the 
mountainous region of the Casentino. This distriet 
is little known; it vies with Switzerland or the Tyrol 
in beauty j covered by forests, resonant with streams, 
the valleys that intervene are green and fertile. 
Cortona is its capital. Its nobility is of high 
antiquity, and the peasantry are attached to it with 
a soi’t of feudal sense of vassalage. 

We anived wet through. The lay-brother made 
a g(K)d fire, and asked us what refreshment we 
would have. We had already dined, so he brought 
us some exeellent eoffee, and a chasse of rosolio, such 
as is only to be found distilled by the Monks of this 
Convent. 

The rain made the scene dreary; but it ceased at 
last, and we mounted our ponies. The sun broke 
out as we descended; and the sparkling torrent 
muraiurcd softly as it danced along. I hailed it 
with delight, as one of— 

** Li nisccllctti, cho de* verdi colli 

Del Casentin discendon giuBo in Arno^ 

Facendo i lor canaii e freddi c molli 

Verses are these that might refresh a thirsty wan¬ 
derer in a hot sandy desert. There is scarcely a 



A.Vn ITALY. 


139 


spot ill Tuscany, and those parts of the North of 
Italy, which he visited, that Dante has not described 
in piK'try that brings the very sjiot before your 
eyes, adorned with graces missed by the prosaic eye, 
and yet which are exact and in perfect haniiony 
with tlic scene. 

There are three convents, Vallombrosa, Calinaldoli, 
and Laverna, situated in the depths of the district 
of the Caseutino, of which visitors make the tour. 
Monks of old were wise to choose sjiots of extreme 
beauty, however solitai'y, for their life of seclusion, 
peace, and praise. 



140 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER XII. 

Art at Florence.—Cosimo Rosiaclli.—Ghirlaiitlajo.—Boato Fra An¬ 
gelico.—Poccctti.—Later Florentine School. 

January, 1843. 

Florence contains a multitude of various paint¬ 
ings, which to describe, or even to classify, would 
demand a volume, and would require a knowledge of 
the ai't, the elements even of which 1 do not possess. 
1 have not the remotc.st pretension to beuig a con¬ 
noisseur ; nor do 1 say, as some have done, “ I do not 
know what is called good, but I know what pleases 
me”—giving it to be understood, by these words, 
that they have an untaught instinct, transcending 
culture of the student. I believe, in all matters of 
art, good taste results from natural powers joined 
to familiarity with the best productions. To read 
sublime l)oetry, to hear excellent music, to view 
the finest pictures, the most admirable statues, 
and harmonious and stately architecture, is the 
best school in which to learn to appreciate what 
approaches nearest to perfection in each. 

M. Rio satisfactorily proves that the modern art 



AND ITALY. I ll 

of painting resulted from tlic piety of the age in 
which it had birtli. The adoration of images—or, if 
that expression be too strong, the having I'ccourse to 
images for the j)ur])Ose of conecntrating, vivifying, 
and exalting the faith of tlie worshijipcrs—created a 
demand (to use a phrase of the day) for ])K tMres on 
religioiKs subjects. At first this was satisiied by 
paintings of the llyzantine school, to which custom 
gave sanctity. But wluai men of eminent ])iety, 
gifted witli pictorial powers, turiied th(;ir talents to 
rejtre.seuting bodily to the eye, the .Saviour of the 
world, the chaste sinless mi-‘ber of God, or saints, 
who through their faith form it portion of the hier¬ 
archy of heaven, and are admitted by tin; .ludge to 
mediate, for their fellow-ereature.s, they depicted all 
that their souls could conceive of sublime and holy 
in the face of man, seeking to jiresent 

“Of good, wise, just, the perfect shape. 

It is with extreme delight that I have viewed some 
of the works of the tdder riorentiue painters, who 
excelled in pouitraying the human countenance 
lighted up by the nobler passions. Simplicity and 
innocence; rapt enthusiasm, or dignified repose, cha¬ 
racterise their various ])roductions. It has been re¬ 
marked that Shakspearc’s personages speak the very 


Punidiae Regained." 



112 


llAMBLUS IN’ OEKMANY 


words which wc may imagine that mr nohle selves 
would say under the suggestions of certain passions, 
dispositions, and circumstances. So it may he said 
that every figure pmutcd by these higher ai’tists 
looks an individual chosen among our species for 
nobility of bearing and beauty of countenance, and 
that their attitude and look strictly belong to them. 
There is nothing theatrical nor afierted, which is the 
Cliarybdis—nor anything constrained or inane, which 
may be termed the Scylla of the art. 

Among the compositions eminent for the conjunc¬ 
tion of the truth of nature and ideal beauty, is the 
fresco of Cosimo llosselli, in the churcli of Saint 
Ambrosio. The subj(!Ct is the translation of the 
miraculous chalice to the cpisco])al palace. It is 
replete with figures of various aspect, but all expres¬ 
sive of the sentiment of worship and admiration pro¬ 
per to the occasion. There is a group of women in 
particular, which, if such lived and assembled in th<r 
churches of Florence, show that personal beauty and 
graceful dignity then existed among the sex in a 
degree unparalleled elsewhere. But these evidently 
are not mere portraits; and the painter, though 
accustomed to associate with a race occupied by 
nobler thoughts and desires than now for the most 
part harbour in the brain and heart of women, yet 
idealised his actual experiences. 



AND ITALY. 


143 


There is another picture of this age, which to see, 
is to feel the hapj)iness which the soul receives from 
objects presented to the eye, that kindle and ele¬ 
vate the imagination. It represents the Adoration 
of the Magi, by Ghirlaudajo, in the chapel of an hos- 
])ital in the Piazza della Annuuziata. There! < one of 
the Kings standing on one side of the \Trgiri, which 
might (as the Apollo Helvidcre is said to have done), 
create a passion in a woman’s heart. Where on 
earth find a man so full of majesty, gcntlenc:ss, and 
feehng ? There is a charming accessory to this 
picture. In the hack-groin nl is represented the 
Mui’der of the Innocents, in all its terror; hut 
immediately in the fore-ground, on each side of the. 
Virgin, kneel two children—the souls of the Inno¬ 
cents who died for Christ, and are redeemed by 
him. The. attitude of these, babes, e..specially of one, 
has that inexjiressible chann of innocence which 
words cannot convey, and which since the creation 
of man, the pencil has seldom been able to dejiict. 

Led by the admiration which this picture excited, 
I visited cveiy other in Florence by Ghirlaudajo; 
they mostly bear the stamp of the power I have 
mentioned. Vasari, albeit of a different school, 
praises him highly, but chiefly for the naturalness 
and truth with which he pourtrayed the feelings; 
and speaks of the wonder excited by those effects, 



144 KAMBLES IN 6EKMANY 

and the pleasure they produced in the beholders. 
Describing one of the paintings in a chapel of the 
Church of the Santa Trinita, at Florence, represent¬ 
ing the Death of St. Francis, and the gi’ief of the 
monks, he says, "there is one friar who kisses his 
hand; and it is not possible, in painting, better to 
pourtray the expression; and there is besides a 
bishop, with spectacles on, who is singing vespers, 
not hearing whom is the only testimony that it is a 
mere painting.” 

Lanzi speaks of his perfection of outline, grace of 
attitude, truth of ideas, and of his facility and rare 
diligence. He was the master of Michael Angelo; 
and, it is said, envying the talents his pupil dis¬ 
played, contrived that he should quit paiuting for 
sculpture. But this, 1 have no doubt, is a calumny. 
He is one of the most ])rolific among the early 
Florentine painters; but, among his many pictures, 
1 liked none so well as the Adoration of the Magi 
1 before mentioned, and the Life of St. Francis, in a 
chapel dedicated to this Saint, in the Church of the 
Sauta Triiutii. 

The Bcato Fra Angelico surpasses all his con¬ 
temporaries in the celestial sweetness he infuses 
into the countenances of his saints and angels. 
We may believe ourselves regarding the blessed in 
the kingdom of heaven, as w'e look at these creations 



AND ITALY. 


145 


of a mind cradled in love, charity, and devotion. 
Fra Giovanni, of Fiesole, knonTi as the blessed Fra 
Angelico, presents in his life the very type of a 
Christian ecclesiastic. He gave himself wholly up 
to ])iety and good works. His humility was such, 
that when Pope Nicholas V. desired to ..lake him 
Archbishop of Florence, he represented to his Holi¬ 
ness that he did not feel himself formed to govern 
the many, and im]>lorcd him to name another more 
worthy in his stead. “ It apjiears, from this holy 
man,” says Vasari, “that the monks of his time 
did not desire to obtain tlu’se burtheusonie honours 
which they did not think that they could worthily 
fulfil, and were ready to jneld them to others whom 
they judged more capable—as did this truly angelic 
father, who spent his life in the service of God, 
and in benefiting the world and his neighbour; 
and what more can be desired by man than by living 
holily to attain the kingdom of heaven, and acting 
worthily to acquire eternal fame on earthFra Ange¬ 
lico was no lazy priest—besides his works elsew here, 
Florence abounds with lovely images w’hosc serene 
and blessed faces breathe the virtues of their author. 
The delicacy and softness for which he is remarkable 
never degenerates into insipidity. His pure taste 
made him conceive the highest beauty, his faith gave 
him a foretaste of beatitude, and he adorned with 


u 



146 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


these attributes the beings whom alone he consented 
to represent, the saints and angels of Paradise.* 

We had a curious scene in the sacristy of the 
church of Santa Maria Novella, whither we went to 
hunt for one of the works of this angelic artist: 
the reliquaries mentioned by M. Rio; consisting of 
two tablets painted with a series of miniatures, repre¬ 
senting the Life of Jesus Christ; the Last Judg- 
)ucnt, in which the beatitude of the elect appears 
in all its living ecstasy, and St. Thomas Aquinas and 
Albert the Great, surrounded by their disciples. 
For a long time the keys could not be found of the 
cbjset in which these reliquaries were deposited; 
atiil a most active hunt after them was made. At 
length they came to light, and the tablets were 
brought out. The Dominican, who took every 
pains to iind them for us, had lately arrived from 
Ihnne, and had never seen them. His almost 
childish delight, as he regarded the inexpressible 
loveliness of these exquisite miniatm’es, was highly 
amusing. Whenever you have to do with an 
Italian, you do not encounter the doltish ignorance 

* “ Thf runipiiuctioii of man’e heart—its aspirations towards God_ 

the rapt ccslacj-—a fivn-taste of celestial beatitude—all that class of 
profound and exalted emotions which no artist can n-present without 
having previously ex|)rrienred them, formed, as it were, the mysteri¬ 
ous circle which the genius of Fra Angelico delighted to follow, and 
when ended, he tecommcuced with renewed delight.”—£a Poetie 
Chreliemt. 



AND ITALY. 


147 


of an English clown, nor the dogged sulleuness of a 
German. He takes pleasure in your pleasure, and 
interests himself in the objects which arc exciting 
your interest, in a inauucr at once gratifying to ns 
and honourable to himscU*. 

Of a later age is Poccetti, unnamed by Vasari, 
because, when he wrote, he had not painted the pic¬ 
tures which render Jiim one of the most admirable 
fresco painters in the world : Florence is full of his 
works, and every one may he visit<;d with pleasure 
and profit, for he depicts Nature in her truth and 
yet in her elegance;—if that^i d denoti^s the power 

of displaying in the demeanour and attitude, and 
countenances of men, their souls defecated of every 
meaner quality—dignified through unafleiled self- 
forgetfulness—animated by charity—beaming with 
faith.—One of his most renowned works is a series of 
frescos in the cloister of the convent of the Suntis- 
sima Annunziata: they represent the conversion, holy 
life, and death, of. seven Florentine geiitleincn, who 
dedicated themselves to religion under the name of 
Servi di Maria. The aspect and hearing of these 
holy men mark them as gentlemen in the best sense 
of the word. Men, “ generous, brave, and gentle 
and, in addition, animated by earnest benevolence 
towards their fellow-creatures, and lively faith to¬ 
wards the divinity. Perhaps, however, the most 
• H a 



148 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


sulniirablc of his works is the cupola of a chapel, 
hclouging to the church and convent of Santa 
Maria degli Aiigioli. It is painted in fresco, and 
represents the Saints of the Old and New Testa¬ 
ment ; the more heautiful portion is the congregation 
of female •saints—Saint Cecilia, the musician; Saint 
Clara, the nun; Saint Catherine, the hridc of Christ, 
&c. Tlic foreshortening is admirable, the spirit and 
grace of the attitudes worthy of the highest masters 
of the art.* 

Such is the spirit that animates the earlier school 
of Florence. But as painting became more of an 
art, and grew to represent domestic scenes and 
jmrtraits, artists brokt; from the confinement of 
mere religious subjects, or treated them in a 
mundane manner. Then it was that their ima¬ 
gination so degenerated, that they had recourse 
to jiortraits to rejiresent Christ, the ATrgin, and 
the Saints; some of them even fell so far from 
the ideal of sinless chastity, as to paint their 
mistresses and women of unworthy life; offering 
to the worship of the pious, the image of mere 
physical beauty, without the superior grandeur of 
moral excellence. 

♦ “ The Ciuule>Book of Florence/’ by Fautozzi, is very complete, but 
it ^ants nn iudcjc of the names of the artiste, with the numbers of the 
pages in ^hich they are mcuuoiicd, cited, to enable the amateur at 
once to learn where to hod their various works. 



AXD ITALY. 


119 


I must confess, that any rules (except the imniii- 
tablc laws of moral rectitude) that tend to limit the 
objects on which man is to exercise his faculty of the 
imagination, appear to me contraiy to the scope of 
our creation. We arc so far from being all born 
possessed of equal jiowcrs of mind, that’smcc the 
world began there has been scarcely a hundred 
among us capable of the higher flights of th(“ 
intellect. How few possess, in any degree, the 
ca])acity of becoming painters, and far fewer are 
tho.se who arc able to ri.se to aq exalted order of art. 
We ought to know what thc®aighest is,—that those 
who feel the power should endeavour to elevate 
themselves to it; but beauty may be found else¬ 
where, and must not be rejected. Bigotiy is ever to 
be eschewed in all that pertains to man ; to confine 
jiaintcrs to one class of pictures, is to turn some 
who would be great, if allowed to originate subjects 
of a lower grade, into tame copyists, and humble, 
lifeless imitators of the thoughts of others. As well 
insist that all poets should write hymns and heroic 
poctrj^, as that painters should confine the jicneil to 
the delineation of the conce])tions of religions 
mysticism. 

The genuine school of Christian idealism is, for tin 
present, come to an end. And I confess, as far as 
I may be allowed to judge, that it strikes me that tlie 



150 


RAMKLES IN GERMANY 


Germans of the present day, who are endeavouring 
to revive it, fall into the same mistake as our 
sculptors, who cm])loy tliemselves in imitating the 
ancients;—they are good copyists, but are never 
original. And what appears to prove this is, that the 
Gcrinani-' are not content with endeavouring to repro¬ 
duce that composed and severe exjuession which the 
earlier painters yet knew how to ally to vitality in its 
highest sense, but they return to the dry colouring 
and meagre composition, w'hich is the chief defect of 
the infancy of painting. 

Still, there can be iio question that in poetry, 
music, or the plastic arts, the ideal must rank above 
the merely imitative. Those painters who can 
embody ideas conceived in their pm’cst and most 
elevated contcmjdations, far removed from vulgar 
and trivial reality, are the greatest. Artists, how¬ 
ever, arc men fonned by nature with the peculiar 
eye to sec and represent form and colour; and it is 
not strange that the majority among them should 
tuni to the study of thes<;, and view in the perfection 
of representing the one or the other, the aim of their 
labours. Thus the study of nature succeeded to 
the ideal; art fell lower afterwards, and became the 
copyist of art; and ancient statues grew- to be the 
models from which modem painters strove to gain 
inspiration, till the uniformity, stifihess, and even 



AND ITAL\. 


151 


deformity thus produced, induced others, who per¬ 
ceived these faults and their cause, to have again 
recourse to natm’e. 

Jhit these remarks tend beyond the limits of my 
knowledge, or even powers of observation. I have 
mentioned pictures not much visited cxcdJjjt; oy the 
cm’ious, just to shew the w'ay towards, not to guide, 
you (for I cannot), in your .search after pictorial 
execllence: nor will I long dcitain you in the more 
beaten road of the j)ublic galleries. 



152 


KAMBLES IN GEBMANY 


LETTER XIII. 

Tlie Gallery.—Palazzo Pitti.—Lc Belle Arti.—Portrait of Dante.— 
The Churches. 

With slow steps my feet almost unwillingly first 
moved to the collection in the Reali UjBBzi. As I en- 
tered the Tribune I felt a crowd of associations rise 
up around mcj gifted rwitb painful vitality. I was 
long lost ill tears. But novelty seems all in all to us 
weak mortals; and when I revisited these rooms, 
these saddest ghosts were laid; the afilietion calmed, 
and my niiiid was free to receive new impressions. 

The Tribune is adorned with the selected chefs- 
Ucauvre of the best artists of every school, in addi¬ 
tion to some of the finest ancient sculpture in the 
world. The matchless statue of the Queen of 
Beauty reigns over the whole—^Venus, majestic in 
her bending softness, which once to sec does not 
reveal its perfection. There is here one of the most 
beautiful of Raphael’s Madonnas—one of the eight 
which M. Rio mentions as among the chefs- 
d’amvre that Raphael executed in the short interval 
of two years, during which he especially dedicated 



AND ITALY. 


153 


liimself to multiplying representations of the Virgin, 
for whom from ehildhood he had felt an especial 
devotion. * 

Here is the master-piece of Andrea del Sarto, a 
jiainter of very high, though not the highest, merit. 
He wants warmth of eolouring, fire of P.^yircssion, 
and variety of invention j while he has been named 
Andrea snnza T,rrori, from the purity of his outlines, 
the graceful decoram of his jicrsonagcs, and the 
faultless completeness of evci’y portion of his jiictures. 

Perfection in drawing, of which Michael Angelo 
was the great master, is the leading merit of the 
subsequent Plorentinc school. It has not the glow¬ 
ing colouring of the Venetian, nor jiossesscs .artists 
to compare with Raphael, Correggio, or Leonardo da 
Vinci. Michael Angelo was its most glorious 
cxamjdc—a man whom I do not dai-c eritici/e; 
whom I will wait to mention till I have seen tin 

* The eight wiiich M. Rio montions as having suen himself) uod ut' 
fonning the glory of Raphael, as a painter of idea! and^niro beauty, arc— 
the Virgin, of the Duke of Alba~~purchabcd aftcrwuids by Mr. CosucU, 
and brought to Loudon.—The Vii^n, known under tlie name of Jjsi 
Belle Jardiniere, now in the Louvi'C.—The Virgin of Palazr.o Tempi, 
now at Munich.—The Vir^n of Canigiani, at Munich.—The two in 
the gallery of Florence, which, for the lovers of this style, dim tin 
glory of every other picture—especially that named the Madonna oi 
the Goldfinch.—Of this M. Rio says, It may be boldly affirmed that 
Christian art never rose to a greater height.”—The Virgin of tht 
Colonna Palace, now at Berlin; that of the Palazzo Gn^ori; and the 
Madonna of Pcscut, known as the Madonna del Baldachino* 

II 3 



154 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


Sistinc Chapel, at Rome; to whose majestie powers of 
conception every connoisseur bears- testimony, while 
till there is something of extravagant—something 
which is not absolute beauty—in most of his works 
at Florence. The glorious Mcdicean monuments,— 

• ' ‘ AVherc the ^^ntic shnffes of Night and Daj’, 

Turned into atone, rest cvcrlaatingly; 

\'(rt still are hi'ciithiiig.”* 

—in spite of the magic art which makes them for 
ever sit and sleep, yet jar with the sense of hannony 
in form. His love of the naked w-as carried to a 
curious excess. In tin; Tribune, is a Holy Family, 
into whicli he has introduced a variety of naked 
ligures in differiiut attitudes, that have not the 
smallest connection with the subject of the picture, 
Imt intrude impertinently to mar its effect. 

A chaniiing Madonna of Correggio, kncehiig beside 
the divine infant, adorns the Tribune; there is also 
the portrait ternicd the Foruarina of Raphael; cer¬ 
tainly it is njt the Fomarina, for it does not at all 
resemble her undoubted jiortraits, and it has been 
doubted whether the picture be by Raphael. From 
the Tribune, which, as a focus, collects the rarest and 
brightest rays of art, branch off several rooms, dirided 
into schools. One of the most interesting is that 
containing the portraits of painters, by themselves. 


Rc^ers’s ItalyJ 



AND ITALY. 


155 


There is a stately chamber, dedicated to the Niobe 
and her cliildreii, whose maternal, remediless grief 
sheds a solemn sadness around. Tlie Florentiiie 
school possesses specimens of its w'orst style, th{ 
inane, ex))re,ssionlcss nudities of Vasari and his imi¬ 
tators. In the room of bronucs is the mbthd of the 
I’erseus of Henvenuto Cellini, and there is si.oiething 
more sjnrited and graceful in bis attitude than in th<' 
larger bronze in the Piazza. There is the model of 
the. glorious statue of John of Bologna, which Shak- 
speare we might think had seen when he spoke of 
the “herald Mercury;” and a David of Donatello, 
neither imitated from ancii it scul])tiu’c, nor con¬ 
ceived under their inspiration. There is all the 
verve of an original idea; the 3 'outhful hero is 
neither Mars nor Hercules; he is the inspired 
Hebrew shcjdierd boy, who derived his victory from 
his faith. The galleries which run round three sides 
of the square, from which open the various rooms, 
arc hung w'ith many pictures, and adoriu^d by a series 
of the busts of the Roman Emperors, and by a num¬ 
ber of statues. Just belovv the comice is a range of 
highly interesting portraits. Paul Jovius had made 
a vast collection of original portraits of all the illus¬ 
trious personages of his time, and placed them in 
the palace of the Conte Giovio at Como. Cosimo I. 
sent a painter, celebrated for his portraits, Cri.stofaro 



150 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

dell’ Altissimo, to make copies, and these are here 
hung up. 

AVith the exception of the Tribune, the collection 
in the I’itti Palace exceeds that of the gallery. 
There are here pictures from every school; and by 
going ofttn, and selecting befoi’ehand the master 
whose, works I wished to see, I have sjjcnt many a 
morning with delight. Once or twice I have gone 
merely to refresh my eyes w'ith a marine view—a 
sunset by Salvator Rosa; it is a jucture all calm, all 
softness, all glowing beauty; and, during the misty 
and darker days of thi.s misout/um winter, I have 
gone—as 1 would in England—to warm my heart 
anil imagination by the golden hues of a sunnier 
ailti purer atmosphere. 

The gallery of the Belle Arti is rich in paintings 
of the olden times, when the soul worked more than 
the hand ; when the artist sought, in the first place, 
to conceive the sublime, and the glorious endeavour 
bore him aloft among the angels and saint.s, whose 
blissful ecstasies he was enabled to represent. AA’hy 
did not some among these great artists ])ortniy the 
other passions that ennoble our natiu-c ? AA^e have 
portraits of great men, w'orthy of them, it is true j 
but the ideal of the warrior who would die for his 
country—nay, I may say, of the lover w'ho loves unto 
the death—the representation of such men and women 



AND ITALY. 


157 


as Milton and Shakspcare have embodied in verse, is 
not to be found in the works of these painters; or 
only found, because among their groups of wor¬ 
shippers at some miracle, we see the power of great 
actions sit upon the brow, and add majesty to the 
gesture of some among them. IVlientJicy por¬ 
trayed earthly love, they betook thcmsclvt.' to my¬ 
thology, and depicted passion, without the touch of 
tender fear which must ever mingle with, and 
chasten the affection we feci one for another. As 
far as I remember, there is no jucturc such as 
would idealise Ferruccio F<;rruccini or Bayard—^nor 
can I recollect the represt itation of mutual and 
tender love in any picture by a great artist, with one 
exception—that called the Three Ages of Man,'by 
Titian—the original of which is in the Bridgwater 
collection; and there is a line copy in Palazzr> 
Manfrin, at Venice. The cxjiressiou of the lover’s 
face seems to say, “ I love a creature who is mortal, 
and for whose safety I fear; yet in her life I live— 
without her I die;” and she catches the light of 
tenderness from his eyes, and the two souls seem 
fused in one commingling glance; but there is 
nothing to shock the most bashful mind—love is 
evidently hallowed by that enduring affection which 
is proof against adversity, and looks beyond the 



158 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

One of the most interesting paintings in the world 
has been lately discovered at Florence; tlie portrait 
of Dante, by his friend Giotto. Vasari mentions that 
Giotto was employed to paint the walls of the chapel 
of the Palace of the Podcsta at Florence, and that he 
introduced into his picture a portrait of his contem¬ 
porary and dear friend, Dante Alighieri, in addition 
to other renowned citiaens of the time. This jialace 
has been turned to the unworthy use of a public 
prison, and the desecrated chapel was whitewashed, 
and divided into cells. These have now been 
demolished, and the v-liitewash is in jiroeess of 
being removed. Almost at tlu! first the portrait of 
Dante was tliscovercd: he makes one in a solemn 
procession, and holds a flower in his hand. Before 
it vanishes all the preconceived notions of the 
crabbed severity of his jihy.siognomy, which have 
originated in portraits taken later in his life. Wc 
see here the lover of Beatrice. His lip is proud— 
for proud, every contemporai 7 asserts that he was 
—and he himself confesses it in the Piirgatorio; 
but there is sensibility, gentleness and love; 
the countenance breathes the spirit of the Vita 
Nuova.* 

♦ The coniiuoii prints taken from tUis picture are very unworthy of 
it; thej seem to suhsiitutc sensunliiy foi seusibiliiy, in tlic lines of the 
countenance. Mr. Kirkup's drawing, made for Lord Vcniou, is excel* 



AND ITALY. 159 

I often visit the various churches of Florenct;. 
The old i)aintings to be found in them attract me „ 
but you must not imagine that the interior of these 
Florentine cathedrals and churches is to be compared 
to our Gothic edifices. The sj)acc within a large 
building of this sort often defies the talT;]]t of the 
architect: the Greek temples had but small interior 
shriues. Their rows of columns may be said to bear 
resemblance to the tniiiks of trees; while the capital, 
and architrave, and roof, does not imitate the shadowy 
boughs, though their pui’jiosc is the same. Gothic 
architecture, on the contra*-y, resembles the over¬ 
arching branches, and imparis the same solemn tran- 
(juillity as the aspect of a venerable avenue or dark¬ 
some glade. The Italian architects seem not to 
have known well what to do with the vast spiice 
enclosed by the majestic walls of their edifices. 
They afl'orded glorious room for the jiaiuterj but 
where not adorned by him, they are bai-e, present¬ 
ing no image of beauty, and inspiring no solemn 
feeling. The pictures and sculpture we find arc, 

lent. Uofortunatcl)', iti removing the wiiitewasii or plaster, u slight 
injury was done to the eye in the picture. Tlie painter employed by 
the Grand Duke has restored this; but Mr. Kirknp is indignant with 
the lestoratiou; and tho print, taken from his drawing, exhibits tiie 
bleiuish. i cuiifesb, that to uio the icstoratioii secuis judicious. The 
ball of the eye alone was injured; and as the colour of Dante’s eyes 
was known from other pictures, the portrut has gaitu-tl in ex||C88iou, 
aud not lost in authenticity by its being repainted. 



160 


KAMIILKS IN (iERMANY 


however, sources of ever new deiijrhf; it is here that 
w(! may study the infancy and proj'irss of the art— 
here also, alas! we may ]»ereeive its dcfceneracy— 
till, last ai 'orst of all, we see raising to the W'alls, 
ou which niiiiiitabh; friiscoes nrv fading away, daubs 

that-J am in t fond of ill-natured eritieism, so 

will say no more. 

Let us turn, rather, to the gates of tlu; llatistero, 
worthy of I’aradisi*. Here we view all that man can 
achie-ve of beautiful in sculpture, when his con¬ 
ceptions rise to tin; height of grace, majesty, and 
simplicity. Look at these, and a certain feeling of 
exalted delight will enter at your eyes and penetrate, 
yoni' heart, which is tlu; praise to which a painter or 
a .V uljitoi asjiires. Mor forget wdien you visit tin 
chiu’ch of Santa Croce, to look at some fast-fading 
frescoe.s, on the loggic of a jialaee, on the right hand 
of the iiiazza. The perfect taste exhiliitcd in the ease 
and dignity of attitude and gesture of the figuri's 
will well reward you for careful examination. 



AM) ITALY. 


IfSl 


LKTTEH XI\ 

Tlic Il'irboMai'i. 

Of late )vars lia> Itfcn a sjiirit in Italy 

tending towards iiujirovcnicnt ; tliis, iierhaps, is loss 
outwardly developed in Flo cuce than elsewhere, 
yet here also it exists. IVilitically and materially 
considered, T'xsc.any is looked upon iis the h' st 
goviTued and liaj>pi(.‘st Ttalian state, hut in so-' e 
respect-- M-i i-iv cireuinsfance. has kept ' ack its 
inhabitant-. 'I in, foreign power that rules Lombardy 
exciting tuidisguised haired, and tin- misrule of the 
I'opes being beyond all question quite intolerable— 
the people of those states are in avowed opposition 
to government, wdiile in Tuscany there is little to 
complain of, beyond the torpedo influence of a sys¬ 
tem of things that undeviatingly tends towards 
the deterioration. 

The reign of Leopold I. was the golden age of 
Florence. He was grandduke at a time when a good 
sovereign was the dearest wish of a people, and the 
notion of governing themselves was not looked upon 



162 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

even as desirable. The French came next, and the 
tendency of their government was alw'ays to destroy 
the nationality of any people subdued by them. 
But this had a certain good effect in Italy. The curse 
of that country is its divisions,—while the other 
nations ,(»f Europe, in the middh; 'ages, became 
divided into feudal tenures, and possessed by nobles, 
who, unable to maintain their independence, at last 
became mere courtiers of an absolute monarch,— 
Italy was divided into municipal republics, or small 
states,—the mutual rivalry and quarrels of which 
were the fatal causes that France and Spain dis¬ 
puted alternately, making Italy their field of battle, 
and Italian met Italian in opposing fight; and 
Pisa was willing to aba.se Florence ; and Bologna 
gloried in the misfortunes of Ferrara:—the union of 
the whole of northern Italy under the French was 
the first circumstance that checked a spirit so inimi¬ 
cal to all prosperity,—all improvement. 

When the French were driven from Italy the 
}ieninsula became politically Austrian. The Austrian 
cabinet directed all the councils, and guided every 
act of the various states. If Ferdinand contrived 
to maintain a more beneficent internal govern¬ 
ment, it was only because the Tuscans shewed 
no inclination to join in the revolutionarj^ move¬ 
ment. But while Austria substantially ruled the 



AND ITALY. 


163 


whole, it was well aware of the benefit to be derived 
from disunion, and it stirred up the spirit of discord ^ 
by a curious contrivance j—a tub was thrown to the 
W'halc;—the govcrnincnt ordered the institute of 
Milan to occupy itself in the reform of the National 
Dictionaiy, and hence arose a fierce battl<? .between 
the Della Crusca Academy and the authors of thi; 

“ Proposta” on the score of language. Did the 
Italians sj)cak Tuscan, or Italian? such was the 
mighty question that engrossed the learned of Italy; 
it was never started among two or three men without 
exciting the most violent ])arVy feeling, and for many 
years it set Tuscan against Lombard. Monti, by no 
means a pure political character, is accused of under¬ 
taking this war to please the Austrians, with his eyes 
open to the end in view. His son-in-law, Pcrticari, 
who shewed him.self veiy earnest in the discussion, 
was too much honoured and loved, hLs memory is too 
entirely reverenced, for him to be open to the same 
accusation. For seven years the battle raged, exciting 
a virulence of party and municipal feeling, quite 
inexplicable out of Italy. It ended at last, as the 
question of big-endians and small-endians terminated 
in Liliput, by every one breaking his egg at whichever 
end he pleased;—^the Lombards came to the conclu¬ 
sion that the Tuscans might like their language 
best if they chose—and they must choose^ for it is 
not only the purest and the most idiomatic, but it 



164 KAMBLES IN GERMANY 

is the only language at once spoken and written, 
except, indeed, the Roman; but that is veiy inferior 
in strength and vivacity. 

Other influences were at work in Italy to turn the 
Italians from such puerile contests. Tlie sect of the 
Carbonari had spread throughout the peninsida, and 
the hope of throwing off a foreign yoke and achiev¬ 
ing more hberal institutions animated cvciy Italian 
heart. 

Colletta, in speaking of the Carbonari, considers 
this sect to be derived from the Freemasons of 
Germany—^transported, into their country by the- 
Ncapolitan exiles of 1799, on their return. I have 
heard Italians well versed in the secrets of Car- 
bonarisin deny this. They say that the deeply 
rehgious and mystic spirit of the sect at its com¬ 
mencement, proves its Neapolitan origin, and that 
it was founded by men, Neapolitans themselves, 
who knew how to adapt their doctrines and their 
rites to the temperament of a people, at once super¬ 
stitious and lovers of the marvellous. 

The hojies of political liberty w'liich all nations en¬ 
tertained when the armies of the aUics quailed befiare 
those of repubhean France, found an echo in Naples; 
while Ferdinand and his queen, who before the French 
Revolution had shown an inclination to imitate Joseph 
and Leopold of Austria, in reforming the law's of their 
kingdom, taking sudden fright, indulged in such acts 



ANK ITALY. 


165 


of arbitrary power as incited rather than repressed 
the desire for change. Many Neapolitans, therefore, 
welcomed the French with euthnsiasni, and rejoiced 
in the flight of their sovereign. The liberators, as 
they dehghtcd to call themselves, soon, however, 
showed the cloven loot, and apjiearcd in tJieir true 
light, of invaders and spoilers. The hearts of 
all real lovers of their countiy were alienated from 
them ; and if Ferdinand, on his return, during 
Napoleon’s e.\i)cdition to FgJiit, when the French 
w'cre driven from Italy, had shewn himself mode¬ 
rate and forgiving, he had aetjuired the alfection of 
all his subjects. But both he and his queen seemed 
to be driven mad liy hatred and terror of the, new 
doctrine of a people’s riylU to be well governed. 
E.veeutions—the most barbarous iiujn’isonmcnts— 
persecutions that, blinded by fury, rather attacked 
a friend than forgave an enemy, followed their resto¬ 
ration. All the constitutionalists or republicans 
fled—some to France, Germany, or Switzerland, 
some to the wild and pathless mountains of the 
Abruzzi and the Calabrias. 

When the French returned, the situation of the 
exiles was not mended; and many among them con¬ 
tinued to dwell in unknown and savage retreats, 
among the inaccessible mountains and solitary valleys 
of those regions. They lived without any bond to 



166 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


unite them topjcthcr, yet not so isolated but that they 
frequently met, and communicat(;d to each other their 
hopes and jirojects. More than the Boiubon who 
had perscimted them, they hated the usurpation of 
the stranger. Tlic most earnest desire of their hearts 
was to drive the French from their eountiy, while 
some among them, looking beyond that time, revolved 
the means of strengthening their party, so that a 
republic might be instituted; or, at any rate, if 
Ferdinand returned, that he should be forced to 
concede, just and free institutions to his people. 

Among the refugees of Calabria, who were not to 
be subdued by pcrsceutioii and adversity, was a 
young man of high courage, strong understanding, 
and gifted with wonderf'ul powers of pci’suasion. 
Capo Bianco had first ap])earcd as the bold leader of 
the militia of his native jdaec (in Calabria), and had 
won the love, respect, and blind obedience of his 
followers. lie jiossessed all the qualities belonging 
to the head and founder of a sect. 1 am told that 
he was handsome in person, and courteous in 
manners, but of a stem and inflexible disposition; 
se\cre towards delinquents, gentle and kind to the 
inoffensive, and to his friends, lie added enthu¬ 
siasm to these (pialities, or he would never have 
erected himself into the founder of a sect. He 
abhorred the name of king—not because he had 



AND ITALY. 


167 


been persecuted by his sovereign, but because the 
power of royalty was detestable in his eyes—so that 
not one among his followers ever dared name before ’ 
him Napoleon or Ferdinand; Austrian or French. 
He would consent only to republican institutions for 
his country; he de.sired the same government ^ 
prevail all ovi'r Italy, and argued warmly in favour 
of Italian union and indejicndeuee. iSuch was Capo 
Bianco, as be is represented by the friends who 
survived him: he was tin; founder of the most 
celebrated sect of modern times, and died on the 
scaffold, a martyr to the cause he advocated. 

Capo Bianco had taken shelter in a spot, to which 
he gave the strength of a rocky fortress, among the 
most rugged fastnesses of the hither Calabria; ht; 
there defied the ])ower of his enemies. Nor did he 
remain shut up : he frequently called together and 
appeared among his faithful adherents; and, com¬ 
municating his bold projects, and warming them by 
his persuasive eloquence, he induced them to believe 
that the hour was come wdien they might unite with 
the population of their countiy, to throw off the 
detested yoke of the French usurpation. 

The Carbonari, who have survived a time now 
almost forgotten, relate how, in the silence of a dark 
night. Capo Bianco assembled his most attached 
friends near a poor hut, situated in the depth of a 



168 RAMBLES IX OERMANY 

thick forest, and then^ laid fhc nrst stone of the 
edifice of his seel He cxplaim.d ,'.s principles and 
its spirit, and cansi’d i.hcto to swear u fearful secrecy 
on the cross. Fi’oui this focus the new association 
spread, guarded hy trenjcndous oaths, and by menaces 
ofi a drcailful vengeance to be taken upon traitors; 
by all the pvceautioii, resolution and terror, that its 
originator eould devise. He gave his adlierents the 
name of Carbonari, because the society was founded 
lu !i -hstrict principally inhabited by charcoal 
burners; •nd nieii vli.' Ibllowed that trade were 
an'O’.ig till lirsl, ^ippertainiiig to the lower classes, 
who were initiated into the secrets of the sect. 
They, descending from (be mountaiiis for the pur- 
jioses of traffic, carried with them and propagated, 
wherever they n’cnt, the tenets of their founder. 

Cajio Bianco understood the disposition of his 
countrymen, and gave a rehgious and mystic 
colouring to his society. Striking rites were esta¬ 
blished; the initiation ivas terrible; the lessons 
taught often apparently abstruse; the end was 
.single—^to overturn monarchy in all its fonns, and 
erect republics on the ruin of thrones. To attain 
this among a people pious to superstition, it was 
necessary to mingle mystic tenets with political 
opinions; in short, to erect and disseminate a 
political religion; and thus, not long ago, Carbo- 



AND ITALY. 


169 


narism was professed, and found proselytes among 
the mountains of Corsica and Sardinia. The laws 
of the Carbonari were, they declared, founded on 
the equality of the gospel, and on the traditions of 
Freemasonrj'. The initiated swore to take terrible 
vengeance for the Lamb, sacrificed by the Wolves. 
The religion of Christ was the lamb; kings were 
typified in the wolves. They said that Jesus, who 
was the Word of God, had been the first who pro¬ 
claimed upon earth the abolition of ancient servitude, 
and taught brotherhood and equality among men. 
He was therefore crucified by^ the wolves of his age, 
and died an illustrious victim of tyranny. The 
Carbonari swore to vindicate the death of Christ, 
and to exterminate the race of wolves, that is of 
kings, who inherited the gadt and infamy of the 
assassins of the Son of God. To strike the vulgar 
eye, fearful representations were made in their cere¬ 
monies, apt to excite the imaginations of a southern 
people of a highly religious temperament, and the 
proselytes pronounced tremendous oaths upon the 
cross and the dagger. The initiation was accom¬ 
panied by various circumstances calculated to test 
the moral and physical courage of the novices; and 
the slightest sign of shrinking, caused them to be 
irrevocably rejected. 

The Carbonari Sad, like the Freemasons, 

VOL. II. I 



170 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

distinctive grades in their society; they recognised 
each other by mysterious signs, and called them¬ 
selves by a secret name—that of “ Buoni Cugini,” 
or good cousins. They took an oath to succour, 
at their need, every other Carbonaro, and to defend 
the honoirr of their women. They swore, if ever 
they lhenis(!lvcs became traitors, to consent that 
their bodies should be torn to pieces, burnt, and 
the ashc.s cast to the winds; that their name 
should be. cursed, and become a warning to all the 
(’arbonari scattered over the face of the earth. 

Carbonarism took deep root and spread rapidly. 
At one time, Mui’at was induced to I<X)k upon it 
as a means for eivili.sing the wild Calabrians, and 
to regard it with favour. Bnt the sect hated the 
French too niueh for this to continue. Ferdinand, 
meanwhile, in his retreat at Na])les, spared no endea¬ 
vour to disturb the government of the invader, 
and, if possible, to drive him from the kingdom. 
Banditti were enrolled; a crusade preached by the 
churchmen among the ignorant pcasantiy; and a 
civil war ensued, at the horrors of which the heart 
sickens. He heard of the growing power of the 
Carbonari, and had recourse to them. 

Already, indeed, led by Capo Bianco, the Carbo¬ 
nari had assembled in arms in the neighbourhood 
of Catanzaro; they scoured the country, attacked 



AND ITALY. 


171 


the towns, drove ont the partisans of the French, 
and, raising a cry that the reign of Joachim had 
come to an end, they hoisted the tri-coloured dag of 
the sect, and set up wherever they could rejmblican 
institutions. Become strong in the places of which 
they had possessed themselves, they sent letters and 
emissaries to every vendita, inciting the sectaries to 
raise the standard of liberty and come to their aid. 
Capo Bianco was the soul of all, and indamed their 
zeal by his eloquence. “ My Italian brothers,^’ he 
cried, “you are the slaves of the French. You have 
changed masters, but not your state. Your new 
rulers,—prouder, more insolent, and more rapacious 
than those of old,—give you no repose, and you 
lavish without. advantage your possessions, your 
own and your children’s lives! Will you remain 
slaves—^the scorn and mock of the stranger, who 
heaps wrongs upon you—the victims of the inso¬ 
lence and rapine of a lawless soldiery?” It 
were long to recount all the arguments of the 
chief. He concluded by telling them that if they 
joined his forces, they would command victory, 
and Italy, liberated, would acquire greater splen¬ 
dour and power than she had ever before enjoyed. 
“The destiny of our unfortunate country,” he 
concluded, “ is in your hands; and posterity 
will either bless or curse you for your deeds.” 

I 2 



172 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

While this was going on at one place, Ferdinand 
^had given it in charge to Prince Moliterno, who was 
at the head of the royal forces in Calabria, to treat 
with other leaders of the sect, and invite them 
to espouse his cause. The Prince had ever professed 
republican ])rincij>les j and even then, while heading 
an army in the name of Ferdinand, liberty and the 
union and independence of Italy were the watchwords 
he ado])ied. lie endeavoured to persuade the chiefs 
of the sect that, by using their intlucncc to drive 
out Murat, they would acquire such ])owcr as would 
force Ferdinand on his restoration to give his people a 
constitution, as, indeed, he had passed his royal word 
to do. Many of the Carbonari, although at that 
time the society was the mark of. persecution of 
the French Government, shrunk from alliance with 
a sovereign, whom they knew to be in his heart a 
despot; while others among them gave ear to his 
promises, and joined the royalists. Both ])artics, 
royalists and Carbonari, while they thought it 
iK'CCssai’)’ to unite to drive out the French, fostered 
the secret hope that the victory once gained over 
the stranger, they could easily get rid of their 
confederate. Capo Bianco, however, never yielded, 
nor gave car to the emissaries of the King. “ You 
mistake,” he said to those of his partisans who took 
the other course; " and whether the royalists are 



AND ITALY. 


173 


victorious or defeated, you sharpen the sword that 
will destroy you; and build the scaffold on which 
I and my partisans will inevitably perish 

Calabria was convulsed by these vfuious parties ; 
every portion of it was in arms; and its rivers ran 
red with blood. Tlieii, as is usually the ease in 
countries which arc the jirey of civil war, the evil 
was increased by the crimes of ferocious and lawless 
men, who collected in bands and ravaj^i^dthc couulry, 
intent only on booty, and ever ready to ilcstroy. 
For two years Calabria could be said to belong 

neither to the French, nor to Ferdinand, nor to the 

• 

Carbonari: each had the ujiper hand by turns, and 
were, therefore, unable to clear the country of the 
brigands that infested it. This state of things 
could not continue, and Ihc French Government 
resolved by extraordinary and terrible measures to 
root out the banditti, and to include the wide¬ 
spread and powerful sect of the Carbonari in the 
destruction. The atrocious and sanguinary methods 
by which General Manhes succeeded in extirpating 
the brigands is matter of history. Colletta recounts 
it in his usual graphic and vigorous manner. In 
his pages* you will find related also how Capo 
Bianco was deceived, betrayed, and executed, to the 

* CoUetta, Storia del Beame di Napoli, dal 1735, sino al IS?.*). 
Libro viU cap. 53. 



174 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

shame of the French General, lannclli, who laid the 
snare by which he was entrapped. He died with 
heroic firmness; intrepid and calm, he willingly 
gave his life for the country and cause which he 
devotedly loved. CoUetta, though no friend to the 
Carbonari., and accused of being a partisan of the 
French, yet reprobates the conduct of Murat to¬ 
wards the sect. “The violence and severity exercised 
towards the brigands,” he says, “ ought not to 
have been turned against the Carbonari, for the 
bandits were guilty of crimes—the sect demanded 
laws; the brigands were the refuse of society—the 
Carbonari were honourable and honest men. Cai'- 
bonarism dc^gencrated afterwards—but was then 
innocent; it had been invited and approved by 
Gtjvernmcnt, and its rites and tenets were ciwlised 
and beneficent. Many friends of Joachim begged 
him to disarm Carbonarism by mild and judici¬ 
ous measures; but anger, which was pow'erful in 
him, prevailed, and kept him firm in his evil 
couustds.” 

During and after the fall of Murat and the 
return of the Bomhon dynasty, Carbonarism, which 
had never been destroyed, spread; and while the 
restored king assumed at once despotic power, the 
sect, finding every promise of freedom for Italy 
broken, were the more zealous to acquire partisans. 



AND ITALY. 


17D 

and to labour for the union and independence of 
their unfortunate country. 

Do not think that I advocate any secret society: 
the principle is had. The crown of every virtuous 
act and feeling is, not to fear the light of day. But 
it must be remembered with what fearfij odds the 
Italians have to contend; th(;y have not only openly 
against them the whole fabric of their various 
governments, hacked by an overpowering foreign 
army; but a secret society is spread throughout 
the country, the friend of existing institutions;—the 
confessional is an engine of mighty power, diffused 
through every portion of evei-y city, the most popu¬ 
lous ; entering every hut, the most retired; acting 
on the fears of the timid and the credulity of the 
superstitious; pandering to the bad passions of the 
wicked and awakening the scru|iles of the pious. 
Every priest bids his penitents confess, not only their 
participation in any act or thought inimical to the 
church or to the government—not only to denounce 
father, husband, or child, who might trust to them 
the secret of their lives—but to reveal every little 
circumstance that may tend to discover the lovers of 
liberty. Can it be wondered that men who wished 
to regenerate their country in the face of so penetra¬ 
ting, so almost omnipotent a power, .should cloak 
themselves in impenetrable secrecy, and strive to 



176 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

check the influence by counter-terrors,—equally 
aR'ful ? 

• Fearful deeds were the result of the laws of the 
society; the individuals that composed it, knowing 
themselves to be supported by numerous companions, 
and sheltered from detection by the secrecy that 
veiled their name, lost their moral sense. The act, 
commanded by a power to which they had sworn 
obedience, ceased to be a crime, and assassination 
was no longer looked on as a murder, but as an 
execution; numbers of Carbonari, suspected or 
really guilty of treason to their oaths, were assas¬ 
sinated all over Italy, especially during the latter 
days of the society; and volumes might be filled with 
the history of these tragedies. If any man to whom 
the lot fell to execute the sentence of the rest, 
shrunk from his task, he was considered a traitor, 
and condemned to death.* Such was Carbonarism, 
at the time when it shook kings on their thrones, 
and made the sovereigns of Italy tremble. Calabria 

* A young aspirant ms askody during the progress of bis initiation, 
whether, if commanded by the society, ho would put hia own father to 
death. He answered, ** Yes.*’ He was taken to a room where, by 
some contrivance it seemed to him that he saw his father sitting at a 
table shading his eyes with his hand. A dagger was given him : 
** Your father is a traitor to the sect,” he was told, " strike! ” The 
weapon fell from the youtli’s hand ; in an instant he was blindfolded 
---hurried away—>set free in some distant spot—rejected from the sect, 
as incapable of that devotion to the cause which was demanded of its 
memben. 



AND ITALY. 


177 


and the Abruzzi swarmed with sectarians; the society 
was rapidly propagated throughout the kingdom of 
Naples, whence it spread to Romagna, Piedmont, 
and Lombardy; Vendite* were even established in fair 
and tranquil Tuscany. Eveiy Vendita was a perma¬ 
nent conspiracy,—every Carbonaro an eijemy to the 
reigning authority;—yet even sovereigns were their 
accomplices, since they had made use of the society 
to overthrow the dominion of the French in Italy. 

The early Carbonari were men who wen; actuated 
by deep-rooted love of their country, and detestation 
of the vice, ignorance, and daveiy into which Italy 
had fallen; they entcrtaincS tin; belief that means 
terrible and unflinching could alone regcmcratc a peo¬ 
ple sunk in sujierstition and slaviwy. The triumph of 
the Carbonari was the proclamation of the constitu¬ 
tional government at Naphfs. But even then the sect 
was no longer the same. It had transgressed against 
the great and permanent moral laws by which society 
ought to be governed; it had been guilty of crimes 
—now it sunk into feebleness. Its results fell miser¬ 
ably short of its proud promise; for its work had 

* The gpots where the Carbonari assembled were called VendUe-^ 
or Places for 8ale-~Jn accordance with the fiction of their being sellers 
of cbarcual. Thus, as wc should write over a shop ** Charcoal sold 
here; in Italian, the phrase is, Vendita di Carbone.” Where thcie 
was one Vendita, there could be no other within fourmiles ;—if another 
was established within these limits, a schism ensued, and every endea¬ 
vour was made to put it down. 



178 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

been undertaken by men who were not sufficiently pre- 
]>arcd,—^who did not look to the future;—who were 
often swayed by violent and capricious passions, and 
whose priiiciples were rooted in scepticism. The pure 
patriotism of its originators became tainted by the 
personal ambition of their followers. At the very 
heiglit of its success it was ignominiously vanquished. 
Unable, from whatever cause, to resist the Austrian 
invasion of Naples, in 1830—21, the constitution 
they had erected was overthrown, despotism re¬ 
established, and the chiefs of the Carbonari cither 
fled, or died on the scaffold;—the name became the 
mark for persecution. 

Still the sj)irit of the sect is not conquered; 
all the outbreaks in the Peninsula may be traced to 
its influence; and the different governments of Italy 
have vainly had recourse to every means for its 
extermination. They were unsparing in bribes to 
traitors; tlu'y suborned spies; they sowed dissension 
in its councils, and became jmssessed of ail its 
secrets. On this account, not long ago, the society 
was reformed, and became merged in other secret 
associations, among which that named La Giovaiie 
Italia, is principal. The heads of this sect are, for 
the most jiart, exiled beyond the Alps; but, even 
in banishment, they maintain their influence, and 
machinate risings: above all, they sedulously keep 



AND ITALY. 


179 


awake the spirit of national union. These new socie¬ 
ties can never be as powerful as the Cai'boiiari were 
—they are but a shadow of that mighty influence; 
but, if they have less power, they have committed 
no crimes; and work by spreading knowledge and 
civilisation, instead of striking terror. ^ 

It is to be regretted, that the patriofs of Italy 
have recourse to darkness and secrecy to cany on 
the regeneration of their country : for falsehood is lh<' 
oflspring of mystery, and iutirgrity is destroyed by a 
system that hides itself from the light of day. The 
Italians must do away with oaths that cannot bind 
the traitor; and the daggcr,*whieh makes a murderer 
of him whose intent is virtuous. Tiny must sacrifice 
the formula of union, and be content with dissemi¬ 
nating its spirit. Could they teach infle.\ible truth, 
could they insj)ire military courages, did veiua'ation 
for just and equal laws spritig from their lessons, 
Italy were nearer the goal it ))ants to attain. 

Meanwhile a certain good has arisen from a sect 
which, however founded in love for their country, 
has been polluted by many crimes. Carbonarisin 
cannot be denied the praise of having co-operatt;d to 
destroy the anti-social municipal prejudices, and the 
narrow spirit of local attachment, which was long a 
serious obstacle to the union of a country, divided 
as Italy is into many states, and subject to the 



180 


RAMBLES IN OEBMANY 


stranger. The Carbonari first taught the Italians 
to consider themselves as forming a nation. It is 
to be hoped they will never forget the lesson. 
When the Roman considers himself, in his heart, 
the countrjTnan of the Milanese—when the Tuscan 
looks upop Naples as also his country—then the 
power of the Austrian will receive a blow, which it 
has hitherto warded off, from which it will never 
recover. 



AND ITALr. 


181 


LETTER XV. 

Tusrany. 

FRuatuRV^ ]8-l3. 

Nothing is more difficult than for a foreigner 
to give a correct account of the state of a country 
—its laws, manners, and c istonis;—the (ir.st often 
so different in their operation from what outwardly 
apjiears; the latter, never fully understood. Proteus- 
like, assume a thousand contradictory appearances, 
and elude investigation. A stranger can only glance 
at the sm’facc of things—often dcsceptivc—and put 
down the results of conversations, which, after all, if 
carefully examined, by no means convey the whole 
truth, even if they arc free from some bias, however 
imperceptible, either in speaker or hearer, the result 
of which is a false impression—a false view. 

An English person, accustomed to the gigantic 
fortunes and well-ordered luxury,—^to the squalid 
penury, hard labour and famine,—which mark the 
opposite orders of society in his own country, is 
struck by the appearance of ease and equality that 



182 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


reigns in Tuscany, and especially at Florence. 
There is poverty of course—but penury cannot be 
said to exist; there is work—but there is also 
rest: nay, there is no lack of enjoyment for the 
poor—while the nobility, for the most part, scarcely 
rise above tl>c middling orders; bankers and 
foi'eigners being those who make most figure in 
society, and that, except on particular and infre¬ 
quent occasions, on no magnificent scale. 

Many reasons may be assigned for this equality. 
During the ilourisliiug days of the rej)ubhc of 
Fhmmec, a blow was given to the nobility of the 
city and surrounding country, from which it never 
recovered. Those nobles who still preserved their 
titles and forttiues, were obliged to conceal all pride 
in the former, in order to jweserve the influence 
naturally resulting from the latter. The Medici 
were merchants; and when an Austrian prince suc¬ 
ceeded to the extinct family, no change xvas operated. 
On the contrarj’, it was, I believe, one of them, 
Leopold I., who abolished the law of jirimogcniturc 
in Tuscany. It is true, that the usual result of the 
prohibition against entails in subdividing estates, is 
frequently eluded. A father possesses absolute 
power over his property, with the exception of a 
tenth or twelfth, which is called the qmta legitima, 
which must descend to his children, and be divided 



AK» ITALY. 


183 


among them in equal portions. The same law 
appertains even to the mother’s dowry—whkh 
becomes her husband’s property. A man may, 
therefore, accumulate and leave the whole of his 
possessions to his eldest son, with the exception of 
the above-named t/uota; and, when thi^ has been 
done for some generations, large fortunes are ))re- 
served. But it seldom is: and as a man has 
absolute j)ropricty in his estates, a spendthrift can 
alienate the whole for ever. The nobles of Tuscany 
being for the most j)art without j)ridc of order, have 
readily yielded to the spirit of their countiy, which 
absorbs them in the democracy. At the same time, 
the feeling of accumulation being extinct, no barrier 
exists to prevent the dissipation of property : in the 
hands of a young heir, extravagance and play (the 
bane of Italy), soon bring to an end the fortunes of 
an ancient name. Thus, 1 am assured, many of the 
noblest families in Tuscany are reduced to poverty: 
the capital of the country has fallen into the hands 
of bankers, the majority of whom arc of Jewish 
origin. A number of illustrious names, consecrated 
in the pages of history, have almost disappeared. 
They only mark the w’alls of palaces, empty of the 
impoverished descendants of their fonner possessors. 

This absence of accumxdatcd riches, of course, 
checks the arts of luxury, mechanical improvements. 



184 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

and all progress in the framework of soeiety; it 
multiplies the numbers of those who are just raised 
'above poverty; while the benignant nature of the 
climate, and the abstemious habits of the Italians, 
prevent the poor from suffering want. The country is, 
for the most part, divided into small farms {podere), 
cultivated by the family of the countryman [conta- 
ditio) who holds them—^hc giving his labour, the 
crops, and tools—the owner the land, dwellings, and 
substantial repairs; the profits are divided, and the 
rent, for the most part, paid in kind — a circum¬ 
stance which aids the farmer, and limits the fortune 
of the owner. The country-people labour hard— 
very hard, and live poorly, but they do not suflfer 
want; and if there are no farmers so rich as with 
us, there is no absolute agricultural distress. 

In Florence itself the common people are well to 
do. They arc, perhaps, the least agreeable people 
to deal with in Italy; self-opiniated, independent, 
and lazy, they can often scarcely be brought to work 
at all; and, when they do, it is in their own way 
and at their own time. They love their case, and 
they enjoy it: they arc full of humour and intelli¬ 
gence, though their conceit too often acts as a 
drawback on the latter. I speak especially of the 
Florentines, as they arc represented to me; for 
conceit is not a usual fault among the Italians. 



AND ITALY. 


l«f) 


As I have said, an English person, aecustomed to 
heart-piercing accounts of suffenng, hard labour, 
and starvation among our poor, gladly hails a sort 
of golden age in this happy country. AVc must 
look on the state of society from a wholly different 
point of view—^we must think of the hunger of the 
mind ; of the nobler aspirations of the soul, held in 
check and blighted—of the tendency of man to 
improve, here held down—(if the peculiar and sur¬ 
passing gifts of genius appertaining to this people, 
who are crushed and ti’od under foot by tlie jealousy 
of government—to understand, with how dead and 
intolerable a w’eight King *ljog hangs round the 
necks of those among them, who regret the generous 
passions and civic virtues of bygone times. The 
Elorcntine reads of Filippo Strozzi, of Ferruccio 
Fermccini, of Alichacl Angelo. He rememb(Ts 
the pure and sacred spirit that Savanarola lighted 
up among the free and religious citizens; he thinks 
of the slavery that followed, when genius and valour 
left the land indignant, and 

^ For deede of violence 

Done in broad day; and moi% than half redeemed 
By many a great and generous Mciificc of self to others/’ 

what has come ? The poet speaks of— 

" tbo unpledged bowl, 

The Btab of the stiletto.”* 

• Hogers’fc “ Italy.** 



186 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

But those days, too, are gone; there has come such 
hfe as the docks lead on the mountain sides—such 
life as the idle, graceful fallow-deer may spend, from 
spring-tide to rainy autumn, under the noble trees of 
some abundant park; but where is the soul of man? 
In the hands of those who teach him to fast and tell 
his beads—to bend the neck to the yoke—to obey 
the church, not God. 

Nor is this all; especially among the rich; far— 
far from it; for men, imless tamed by labour, can 
never lead the innocent lives of the beasts of the 
field: if darker crunes are unfrequent, yet vice 
fiourishes, rank and uiieheekcd: the sense of honour 
is destroyed; the nobler aficctions are crushed; 
mental cultm-e is looked on with jealousy, and dies 
blighted. In the young may be found gleams of 
inextinguishable genius—a yearning for better 
things, which terrifies the paicnts, who see in such 
the seeds of discontent and ruin: they prefer for 
their sons the safer course of intrigue, play, idle¬ 
ness—^the war of the passions, rather than the 
aspirations of virtue. 

Zh do nothmg has been long the motto of the 
Tuscan government; had it been strictly observed, 
still much might be said against it. Leopold 1. 
was a good sovereign, a clever and liberal man; 
Ferdinand, who succeeded to him, suficred many 



AND ITALY. 


187 


vicissitudes of fortune during the period of the 
empire of Napoleon; but he was not, like his name¬ 
sake of Naples, driven by adversity to cruelty and 
arbitrary violence. When he was restored to his 
throne, still it was his wish to keep his people hapj)y 
and contented. It is his praise, that il^ authority 
sheathed its sword and veiled its terrors, nor even 
used the wholesome restraint of the law to punish 
crime, it acted simply as a torpedo on the energies 
of the land, nor used any concealed weapons. Fer¬ 
dinand constantly and resolutely refused to institute 
a secret police in Tuscany. It was a story 1 reinein- 
ber, told at the time, during the revolutionary period 
of 1821, that the Austrian minister at Plorenee 
presented a list of sixty Carbonari to the Grand 
Duke, and begged that they might be arrested. “ I 
do not know whether these men arc Carbonari,” 
said Ferdinand; “ but 1 am sure, if 1 inipri.son 
them, I shall make them such,” and rejected the list. 
His successor, Leopold II., has not had the wisdom 
to pursue the same course. The bane of Italy is 
the absence of truth, of honour, of straightforward¬ 
ness ; the vices opposite to these nobler virtues have 
now the additional culture which must ensue from 
the circulation of a system of secret police, of spies, 
of traitors. 

Yet still the government is mild. In 31—32, the 



188 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

throne of Leopold II. was shaken by several con¬ 
spiracies j and the revolutionary spirit of Romagna, 
which tended to unite all Italy in one bond, had 
numerous proselytes in Tuscany. But for a traitor, 
it is supposed, that on one occasion the person of 
the Grand Duke would have fallen into the hands of 
the conspirators : at the eleventh hour the leader 
took fright, and discovered all. On this, and on 
other occasions, the arrests were not numerous; the 
sentences (to us to whom treason and the gallows 
arc quick following cause and effect,) mild; and 
these even, after a few months, softened. Leopold 
wishes his people to be qiiiet and happy—lie hates 
violence : to pay a traitor to betray, and so to crush 
a conspiracy noiselessly, appears to him wise and 
judicious ])o1icy. In all respects he is averse to 
strong measures. For many years no capital punish¬ 
ment has been inflicted in Tuscany; a fact, which of 
itself demands our admiration, and must be replete 
with good effects. 

“ All this is true,” said an Italian to me; “ and 
yet 1, who wish my countrj'men to cultivate manly 
habits of thought and action, regard our state as 
almost worse than any other. Tyranny i.s, with us, 
a serpent hid among flowers; and I, for one, sympa¬ 
thise with the sentiment of a Florentine poet —odio 
il tiranno die col sonno uccide. There are other evils 



AND ITALY. 


189 


besides those which press upon the material part 
of our nature, and the new generation in Tuscany 
feels OTongs of another description. The better 
spirits of our country pine for the intellectual food 
of which they are deprived. Thus they tend 
towards a new and better order of things? the more 
diflScult to realise, because a timid and absurd policy 
endeavours to throw cverj’ obstacle in the way to its 
attainment.” 



190 


EAMBLES IN GEEMANY 


LETTER XVI. 

Italian Literature.—Manzoni.—Niccolini.—CollettAmari. 

Italian literature claims, at present, a very high 
rank in Europe. If the writers are less numerous, 
yet in genius they equal, and in moral taste they 
surpass, France and England. In these countries 
everybody read.s, and there is a great demand for 
books of amusement. M. do Custine remarks, that 
the French write now for “ hs concierges et les 
formats,” the ignorant and depraved; we write for 
the frivolous. The uneducated and idle in Italy do 
not read at all; and an Italian author writes for 
readers whom he respects, or wishes to instruct: I 
speak of the lighter literature. In the higher walks 
we are lamentably deficient, while France boasts of 
admirable historians. The Italians possess modem 
histories to compete with France. 

There has been a great revolution in Italian 
poetrv’ of late years; and it has, to a great extent, 
returned to the natui-e and character that marked 



AND ITALY. 


191 


its outset. UTien poetry first assumed a form in 
the Peninsula, Europe was still, if not in a barbarous 
state, at least in the very infancy of cinlisation; and 
Italy alone, among European nations?, taught arts, 
science, and letters. The character of the youth of 
modern Euroj)ean civilisation, with all ite defects 
and all its charms, is indelibly impressed on the 
literature of that age. The poetry of the first great 
Italian poets s))rang from the complicated feelings 
which a new sera awoke in them. When you 
read their best productions, you feel that they are 
animated by the energy proper to the young; and 
even when they ap])ear to guide themselves by 
ancient rales, the true soul of j)oetry, the youth of 
the spirit, breaks its way through every obstacle. 
The first Italian jjoets never obeyed, but on the 
contrary resisted, Aristotelian rules. Dante, the 
greatest of all—Petrarch and Ariosto, abandoned 
themselves to the genuine im])ulsc of their minds, 
and w'ere great;—^great, because free. The history 
of Italian poetry confirms the truth, that the poet 
follows the real and the sublimest scope of art when 
he keeps in mind the character of his country and 
of his age. The highest Italian poetry is truly 
national. 

The poets who followed were, with few exceptions, 
imitators; they bowed to the rules of Aristotle, and 



RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


produced no great works. Since the faD of the repub¬ 
lic of Florence, poetry and eloquence, which ought to 
have waited on the changes and advancement of civi¬ 
lisation, and to have harmonised with the thoughts 
and manners of the country, failed to do so. Italian 
painting left no path untried so to arrive at perfec¬ 
tion, and sought originality by a thousand different 
roads; while poets were aftaid of novelty. This 
is not strange. The creations of genius and the 
inventions of the imagination are derived from, 
and depend on, the moral culture of the intellect, 
and this culture was shackled. After the six¬ 
teenth century Italy never enjoyed political liberty, 
and the intellect of the country was unable to 
develope itself with freedom. On this account 
the Italians ceased to contemplate man and nature 
in an original .manner: they were imitators of the 
ancients, and in the sequel, imitators of imitators, 
their literature even became influenced by that of 
the French. No attempt was made to enlarge 
its limits or to renovate its spirit; for such an 
attempt, from political reasons, would have been 
dangerous. Governments who are not strei^gthened 
by public opinion, always shackle the free exercise 
of the intellectual faculties. Writers both in 
prose and verse, tbus grew to aim at grace of 
diction and beauty of imagery, unsustained by 



AND ITALY. 


193 


daring and original thought, or even by variety of 
invention, which is more nearly allied to the enjoy¬ 
ment of freedom than is usually supposed. Yet, 
notwithstanding these obstacles, Italian jioctry of 
the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth 
centuries, jiossesses high merit; and supli, so to 
s[)eak, is its exterior beauty, that, had it greater 
intrinsic ])ower, it would siu’jiass every other in the 
world. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the 
dawn of a reform in every branch of human kiujw- 
ledge may be perceived. Eveiy one felt the need of 
having recourse to the real source.of insjiiration, tln! 
ho])es and f<-ars which form the national spirit of the 
age; among others Allieri rose. There can be no 
doubt that he was the writer who best knew how 
to echo the ])assions and hopes of his conternjiora- 
ries. I pass over the names of the great writers 
who, on every subject, shed lustre over Italy at 
that time, and come at once to the authors of 
the present day, who sprung up at the close of the 
wars of the French empire, and may be said to be 
the offspring of a bitter contest that arose at that 
time among the literary men of Italy: and even 
among these, I shall confine myself to the two 
who possess the highest and most durable influ¬ 
ence, Manzoni and Mccolini; men who, in common 

VOL. II. K 



194 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

with other Italian writers of the present day, 
reject letters as a tribute to frivolity, or means 
to fortune; consecrating them to the advancement 
of the great interests of their fellow-creatures, 
desiring to make them, as Ijord Bacon expresses 
himself, a rich storehouse for the gloiy of the 
creator, and the relief of man’s estate.” 

1 have mentioned in another letter how, under 
Monti’s auspices, a great war of words began in 
Italy: about the same period another battle raged 
between what was called the classic and romantic 
schools. It began in 1818, when Berchet, a poet of 
merit, dcsccudcd suddcidy into the arena, throwing, 
by way of challenge, a translation of the Leonora of 
Burgher, accompanied by an essay, discarding the 
old models and ]>lanting a new banner, beneath the 
shadow of which the flower of the Italian youth 
eagerly crowded to contend—displaying the more 
enthusiasm, because under this literary discussion 
was hid the hope of regenerating the political 
opinions of Italy. The classists were not slow in 
meeting the attack; and when they found their 
authority, which had been respected for centuries, 
was in danger of being overthrown, they hurried 
to the rescue. Monti fought with them. Angry 
ejiithcts, ridicule, abuse, were bandied about by both 
parties in the ardour of fight, Book succeeded to 



AND ITALY. 


195 


book; pamphlets and articles poured furiously 
down, each breathing the ire of an earlier and 
more uncivilised age. The Romanticists wished 
to banish the mythology—^to make pgetry pati-iotie 
—^that is, founded on national faith, chrouieles, 
and sympathies. They added example tt), j)rcecpt j 
Berchet published a volume of odes which met 
with eminent success; the subjects were Italian, 
and breathed great force of passion and feeling. 
Grossi, the rival, or rather, as he calls himself, the 
pupil of Mansioni, commenced with “ Ildegonda,” 
a talc in vcr.se, founded on ^Milanese stoiy, which 
was received with immense ap])lause. Manzoiii 
published his “Carmagnola;” Pellico his “Fran¬ 
cesca da Rimini” and “Eufcmio da Messiua.” 
Pellico, aftei-wards so sadly celebrated for his mis- 
fortunc.s, was at this time tutor to the sons of Count 
PoiTO. He projected founding a periodical work 
which should serve as a common link between the 
writers of every state in Italy. Porro and Gon- 
falonieri seconded him, and hence arose a periodical 
publication named “II Conciliatore ” (the Concili- 
atoi'). Gioga, Romagnosi, Manzoni, Grossi, Bcrchet, 
and Moritani contributed to its success, without 
mentioning the pohtical contributions of Gonfalonieri, 
Porro, Pecchio, Amvabene, and many others, who 
were then secretly conspiring against the govem- 

K 2 



196 IIAJIJJLES IN GliEMANY 

rnciit, and preparing the ill-starred revolution of 
1820-21. The first mmiber of the “ Conciliatorc” was 
published Thursday, 3rd Scjitember, 1818—it came 
to an end in, 1820. From its birth the Austrian 
governnient had decreed its extinction; but its short 
life was ycx glorious, since it excited the public mind 
to free discussion, and gave an iinjictus to letters. 

JManKoni rose into notice as the poet of this jiarty. 
His sacred hymns and his tragedy of “ Cariuagnola” 
a])])eared at the tinu! when the literary war raged 
hottest. His jioeins were received with enthusiasm. 
“Carmagiiola” and “ \de.lchi ” were haded as na¬ 
tional and romantic dramas; their fame spread into 
(jcrmany and France. Goethe sjieaks of them as 
making “ a serious and jirofonnd inijircssion, such as 
gn;at pictures of human nature must always create.” 
“ L(^t the poet,” he says, “ continue to disdain the 
feeble and vulgar portions of human jiassion, and 
attcmipt only such high arguments as excite dec() 
and generous emotions.” 

To ns tlu^se tragedies appear, though eminently 
beautiful as poems, to he failures as dramas. It is 
not enough that passions and events arc developed, 
we de.sire character also: they have not succeeded 
even on the Italian stage, on which several of 
.Vlficri’s have kejit their place. In the “Carmagnola” 
the audience are at a loss on whom to expend their 



AND ITALY. 


197 


sympathy. A vague and uncertain tone keeps us 
in suspense—^not that suspense arising from the 
mingled blame and admiration c.xcited by the hero, 
which is the true foundation of dramatic interest, 
but caused by a sense that the writer has no deter¬ 
mined object. Tlu! “Adelehi” is, in ])!ij'ts, more 
interesting; but even in that we find no real hero. 
Our symjiathy is most excited by Ermengarda; but 
she is entirely episodical. These trageilies, how¬ 
ever, breathe a s])irit*that rendia-s them dear to 
every Italian. They have for their subject national 
events, which arc treated iii^ pow(M-ful and original 
manner. Alfieri makes his Lombai'd princesses ex¬ 
press themselves like Grecian heroines: Manzoni 
imbues himself with the spirit of the times; and 
his personages sjieak and feel ^u his dramas, as his 
creative imagination taught him that they did dur¬ 
ing life. More particularly this is found in the 
“ Adelehi,” where the veil is for the first time lifted 
from the intrigues of the Popes, who contrived the 
overthrow of the Longo Bardi, and the .succcs.sful 
invasion of Charlemagne, not in the interests of 
Christianity, but in that of their own temporal 
power; and the vain struggle of the falling Lom¬ 
bards, with the insolence of the invader and the 
hypocrisy of the priest, is finely drawn. It is his 
odes, however, that give high rank to Manzoni as a 



198 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

poet. In these, his diction is exquisitely finished, 
and his conceptions rise to the sublime. No reader 
can fail of being carried away by the pathos and fire 
of the chorus in Cannagiiola, describing the horrors 
of the wars of invasion in Italy, which became civil 
contests, ps the various states adhered to one or other 
of the foreign powers, who poured down from the 
Alps for their destruction. Tlie “ Cinque Maggio ” 
is, out of his own country, the most ])opular of 
Manzoni’s odes, but this thorns and the sacred 
hymns obtain the greatest meed of praise in Italy. 

The “ Promessi Sposi,” followed. This, to a certain 
dcgi'cc, is an imitation of the romances of Walter 
Scott: it rises above in grandeur of dcscrij)tion and 
in unity and nobility of purpose, though in inex¬ 
haustible fccmidity tf character, the Scotch UTitcr 
surpasses the Italian. The historian B.ipamonti sug¬ 
gested his subjects. The account of the Innominato 
is to be found in his pages, as well as that of the 
errors of a high-bom nun—of a sedition, a famine, 
a pestilence—of the character and hfe of Fcdcrigo 
Borromeo; but these, though suggested by history, 
are treated with a poetic fire, an originality of idea, 
and a vitality, which belongs entirely to Manzoni 
himself. His tale is sustained by a moral, or rather 
religious scope. He desires in his romance to prove 
that society, both civil and political, is diseased, and 



AND ITALY. 


199 


that Catholicism must be the remedy. Mauzoni is a 
devout Catholic. He paints, with peculiar fervom-, 
the merits and uses of a pious clergj'; and per¬ 
sonifying it under the names of Father CristofciD 
and Cardinal Borromco, he shows the beneficial 
influence it may obtain over the pcopl*; and the 
nobility, of w’hom lienzo and Lucia, the Inno- 
minato and Don Rodrigo, arc the representatives. 
It is not the vulgar notion of bringing'forward the 
Pope, with his anny of priests and monk.s, as the 
regenerators of society, at which he aims; it is 
the Christian sj)irit of resignation and self-denial 
that he wishes to revive, and render the u^astcr- 
feeling of the world. Manzoni is eminently pious 
and resigned—this is the internal spirit; in form 
he adheres to ancient Catholicism, which he regards 
as the final tendency of humanity. 

Manzoni was born at Milan in 1784. I have heard 
that his father was a man totally without instruction; 
while his mother, the daughter of the Marchese 
Beccaria, author of the well-known work, “ Dei de- 
litti e delle Pene,” was an accomplished and active- 
minded woman. Manzoni spent many of his early 
years on the Lake of Como, at the very spot where 
he places the scene of his romance. In his youth 
the Latin poets occupied his attention; he read 
Virgil and Tibullus with delight—while in Italian 



2()0 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


lie studied the works of tlie dnquecmthte: so that 
1 have heard that his early unpublished verses 
are conceived in the spirit of those writers. But 
ho soon broke away from such fetters, lie read 
and admired Dante, with the deep-felt enthusiasm 
a poet nar.irally experiences for that sublime writer. 
At the be{;;iiming of the present century Man/.oni 
visited France, and listed for some years with his 
motlier in Paris. In 1808 he returned to Milan, 
and soon after, chicHy induced by the instigations 
of his relations, he married a Protestant lady, the 
daughter of Blondel, a banker of Geneva. They 
visited Home, where the lady became a convert 
to Catholicism; and, as I am told, converted also 
her husband, uho heretofore had been sceptical or 
careless on religious subjects—but udio, from that 
hour, became an ardent and devout Catholic. He 
|)asscs the greater portion of the year at his villa, 
live miles from Milan; he secs little society, being 
by disposition excessively shy. In 1831 he had the 
misfortune to lose his wife, whom he fondly loved 
and entirely trusted. I never bad the happiness of 
seeing him: he is, I am told, of middle stature, of 
gentle aspect, resembling the poi^traits of Petrarch— 
and suffers somewhat from nervousness. He is pro¬ 
foundly versed in history, political economy, and 
agriculture j and it is said is now occupied on a 



AND ITALY. 


201 


history of Italian literature and a philosophical work. 
In his tastes with regard to poeti’y not Italian, he 
admires Schiller and Shakspeare; but, unlike almost * 
every other foreigner, the .scepticism of Lord Byron 
renders his poetry distasteful to him. Ilis soul is 
filled w'ith love of the beautiful, the e)<;vated, and 
the jjure. These cpialities shine forth particularly 
in his odes, which, since Petrarch, arc the most 
])erfect lyrics in the language; and among them, 
the “ Inni Sacri” arc distinguished for the exquisite 
finish and poetic fire that adorns the fervent piety 
which they breathe. 

It would be vain to sfttempt to say even a few 
words of the swarm of romance writers that have 
tried to follow in his steps, and who all deserve 
the same praise of writing to instruct and elc\'ate, 
and not, as is too usual with writers of fiction, 
to amuse, and even corrupt. Out of Italy, Azeglio 
ranks highest. Like all Italian writers of the day, 
he is animated by a patriotic feeling. The desire 
of destroying the prejudices that separate state 
from state, made him, who is a Piedmontese, choose 
for his heroes Neapolitans and Florentines. In 
his first novel, “ Ettore Fieramosca,” he impresses 
on his readers the lot'cbne.ss of the feminine cha¬ 
racter, depicting the purest struggles between 
passion and duty. In “ Niccoli de’ Lapi,” a 
K 3 



202 


EAMBLES IN GERMANY 


burning love of country, joined to a piety at war 
with the grosser superstitions of Rome, adorns his 
venerable hero. The Tuscans generally do not like 
his style, and prid’cr that of Grossi. Tommaso 
Gross! is the intimate friend of Manzoni, to whom 
he dedicated his popular romance of “ Marco 
Visconti,'’ calling him by the endearing name of 
“ Master.” He commenced his literary career by 
the ))ul)lieation of two beautiful talcs in verse, 
“ Ildegouda,” and the "Fuggitiva;” in this species 
of composition there is no one to compare with 
him, and “Ildegouda,” in the estimation of his 
countiyTOcn, is quite inimitable. A Florentine, 
GuciTazzi, has published two romances, “L’Asscdio 
di Firenze,” and “La Battaglia di Benevento,” 
popular in his own countiy, from the ardent, the 
almost frantic love of hberty which inspires their 
author. This is a spuit that ever finds a clear 
echo in hearts palpitating with the sense of wrong, 
and with the aspiration to independence. He is 
eloquent and passionate in his stjdc, and has happy 
touches of situation and character which show him 
to be a mqn of genius—but he is diflusc, exag¬ 
gerated, aud^metimes incoherent. 

A greater man than these, and in the eyes of 
his countrj'men, equal to Manzoni, is the Florentine, 
Gian. Battista Niccolini. This poet, it is true, is 



AND ITALY. 


203 


not as celebrated as the author of the “I’romessi 
Sposi” on this side t>f the Aljjs, but in Italy he has 
attained an equal, and indeed, in some respects,* 
a higher reputation. Niccolini is a tragic and lyric 
poet, and a great prose writer. He commenced his 
career, as a dramatist, by tragedies on .Greek and 
mythological subjects. His mind full of the verses 
of Dante, Tasso, and Ariosto, he reproduced on 
the stage, garbed in simple and sublime poetry, 
the theatre of the Greeks. His “Polixena”—his “ Ino 
e Teraisto,” and his “ Qidipus,^’ might be said to 
be written on the model set by Alfieri, and equally 
liberal in sentiment. They w'cre acted, and the 
beauty of the verses insured their success. Nicco- 
liui soon, however, became aware that his works 
did not meet the wants of modern ^icty, and that 
he ought no longer to remain in the xvays trodden 
by his mastcra; but that the time had arrived when 
to cease imitating the ancients. . He resolved to 
seek the reputation of an original poet, and to create 
a new theatre. The “ Foscarini,” a national subject, 
in which he paints, in the Uvelicst and blackest 
coloiu-s, the dark tyranny of the Venetian aristo¬ 
cracy, had a success on the stage previously unexam¬ 
pled in Italy. The enthusiasm spread among every 
rank of society; country people, farmers and 
labourers from the environs of Florence, were seen 



204 


llAMBLKS IN GERMANY 


mingled •with the lower elasa of citizens, besieg¬ 
ing the avenues of the theatre for hours before 
the opening of the doors. Animated by this success, 
Niccolini composed the “ Sicilian Vespers,” which is, 
in fact, a protest in favour of Italy.* Tins drama 
was received with transports of enthusiasm. The 
French Secretary of Legation, M. de la None, had 
tile folly to complain to the Tuscan government 
of (tertain expressions levelled again.st the French 
nation. The Austrian Minister laughed at his 
apjilication, and saw through the ai-tificc. “ Vans ne 
vmjcz pas,” he said, “ que si Paddresse est d vans, 
le contenu est pour moi." An interesting and 
sad incident occurred on the first representation 
of this play. Tlie mother of Niccolini, an aged 
woman, insist^ on being present—the immense 
success and triumph of her son were too much 
for her—she was carried dying out of the theatre, 
and only survived two days. 

The style of Niccolini’s tragedies is looked 
u])on by his countrymen as a perfect model for 
the romantic drama. It is elevated and yet natural. 
The poet rises to the height of his argument; his 
versification is harmonious yet severe—his imagery 
rich and choice; his tone is majestic, and through 

• In Uie same manner liis tragedy, lately publUlied, ^ Arnaldo da 
Brescia^* ie a splendid protest against the tcmpoial dominion of tUe 
]*0{>c and the abuse of the power of the church. 



AND ITALY. 


205 


all there glows an ineffable love of his art. Niccolini 
is celebrated also as a lyric poet; but as far as 1 have 
read, he falls very short of Manzoui. As a prose 
writer he has as yet only published his speeches 
delivered in the Aceadeniia delle belle Arti. They 
justify his reputation for research, and, may be 
pointed out as models of style and eloquence; In; 
proves himself in thcni to be an original thinker, 
and capable of understanding and judging the age 
in which he lives. 

Niccolini joins to his intellertnal greatness a cha¬ 
racter that makes him the darling of his native city. 
Devoid of vanity, of pure and exemplary life, he 
passes his days at Florence, surrounded’by friends 
who resjiect and love him. lie is at present busily 
occni)ied by an arduous work, the “ Ilistoiy of the 
House of Swabia.” 

Italy, from the earliest times, has In^en renowned 
for its historians. From Dino Coinpagni and Vil- 
lani until Botta, Colletta, and Amari, the Italians 
appear to inherit the art of naiTating events, and 
describing men and countries, as well as of deducing 
philosophical conclusions from the experience of past 
ages. 

Colletta’s “ History of the Kingdom of Naples, 
from the year 1734 till the year 1825,” is a 
remarkable work, as not being the production of an 



206 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

author who spent his life among hooks, but of a 
man who bore a distinguished part in tlie political 
and military affairs of his time, and who was 
somewhat advanced in years when, exiled from his 
country, he dedicated himself to the study of his 
native language and the composition of his history. 

The tii'st publications of Colletta consisted of a 
“Narrative of the llcvolution of Najdcs in 1820,” 
and the “History of the Death of Murat.” The 
vigour of his style, the truth that reigned in his 
nai-rative, and the warmth of enthusiasm that 
animated his pen, attracted attention, and received 
applause. To a certain degree an adherent of the 
French lode in Naples, though fully aware of its 
faults and its injustice, he, in the account of the 
death of Murat, undertook, with just indignation, 
to defend the illustrious partisans of the fallen 
sovereign, whom the minister, IMedici, falsely 
aecused of having ensnared and betrayed him; 
throwing the blame where it was due, on the rash¬ 
ness of the victim and the baseness of his enemies. 
This narration is incorporated in his history, and 
forms one of its most striking passages. It seems 
to me one of the finest pieces of writing in the 
world—full of a mournful dignity, that renders its 
pathos touching, and gives grandeur to its scorn. 

A few pages are prefixed to his histoiy, written. 



AND ITALY. 


307 


1 believe, by bis friend Count Gino Capponi, which 
gives an account of his life. While yet a mere 
boy, he was imprisoned by Ferdinand on a slight' 
suspicion of liberalism, and with difficulty escaped 
with his life. He, though his name is omitted by 
French writers, accompanied the soldiers^ of Murat 
in their attack upon Capri, and by his‘gallantry 
and sagacity mainly contributed to its success. 
Many important posts, both civil and mihtai’y, were 
entrusted to him by Murat, and, on his return, 
by Ferdinand, and he acquitted himself in all with 
reputation, lie acted at once a prudent, hrm, and 
patriotic ])art, dmang the* l'\eapolitan revolution 
But though Ferdinand employed, frequently con¬ 
sulted, and often followed his advice, this did not 
save him after the Austrian invasion. He was 

first imprisoned at Briinn, in Moravia, at the foot 
of the Castle of Spiclburg, of infamous renown; 
afterwards, as his health failed, he was allowed to 
transfer himself to Tuscany. During his severer 
imprisonment and milder exile, ever ambitious of a 
noble fame, he meditated his future work. First, 
he apphed himself to the study of his native 
tongue, forming his style on that of Tacitus; and 
then,. armed with the strength of pictorial and 
vigorous language, he dedicated himself to the 
compilation of his history. 



208 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

An eye witness of many of the events whieh 
he narrates, and frequently a prominent actor in 
them, he strives to be impartial both to friends and 
enemies. He has not, however, escaped the blame 
of undue bias. He expresses his opinions at times 
with too ipuch passion, displaying excessive severity 
against his rivals or opponents in his military career. 
This, however, is not much; and, with very slight 
drawbacks, he may be esteemed worthy of the reader’s 
confidence. He knew the men whose character he 
draws, and these individual portraits give value to 
the work they eontribute to adorn. Among them 
may be named, in especial, that of the infamous 
Canosa, and the youthful hero, Emanuel de Deo. 
Even more admirable are his striking descriptions, 
after the manner of Tacitus. If you shrink from 
undcitaking the whole work, read the accounts of 
the earthquake in Calabria in 1783—of the exe¬ 
cutions of 1799—of the death of the unfortunate 
Murat—of the tragical fate of the Vardarelli—and 
the character of the reign of Ferdinand, at the con¬ 
clusion. It will be difficult to find finer ])assages in 
any history. 

He came to Florence in 1823, and died on 11th 
November, 1831. The intcnal was spent in com¬ 
posing his work, and rendered happy by his 
intimate friendship with two Italians, esteemed as 



AND ITALY. 


209 


the cleverest men of their time. Count Gino 
Capponi and Valeriani, translator of Tacitus. 
These friends assisted him with their counsels and 
criticisms—some Italians go so far as to consider 
Gino Capponi the writer of the history. Hut 
others, who associated with Collctta and his friends 
at Florenee, hav»! assured me that this supposition 
is entirely (irroneous. 

Quite lately, another historical work has aj)- 
peared, the ])roduction of a young Sicilian, Michele 
Amari, w'ho ]n’oraiscs, from his talents, his industry, 
and the admirable spirit of his hook, to add another 
illustrious name to Italy. 

The Sicilian Vespers was a tremendous event, 
which astonished and eonfoundial the nations, and 
even in Italy was ill understood by contemporary 
historians. It was supposed to he the result of a 
consjihacy formed by Giovanni da Procida, under 
the auspices of Don Pedro, King of Arragon, 
who reaped the fruits. Amari, on consulting the 
archives of Sicily, found reason at first to susj)ect 
the truth of, and afterwards entirely to reject, this 
explanation of an event, which, in this light, could 
only be regarded as a cruel massacre—but which, 
from the documents he adduce.s, he proves to have 
resulted, not from a treacherous consjnracy, but 
from the sudden impulse of a people maltreated 



210 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


and insulted to desperation; whose only defence 
was the knife, whose only safety rested in utterly 
rooting out their oppressors. 

Fired with generous sympathy for a people who, 
against a fearful odds, resolved to liberate themselves 
from a b-arharous foreign oppression, Amari relates 
the events of the war that followed the massacre 
with glowing eloquence. The history of the siege 
of Messina may take place beside the noble resistance 
of Numantia and Saragossa, with the more cheering 
result that it was successful. This portion of his 
work, and the subsequent chapters that describe 
the last war and death of Don Pedro of irragon, 
are admirably written. You will scarcely find in 
any historian a more animated and graphic narration 
than that which tells how Don Pedro, deserted by 
all, hated by all, proudly and sternly, and at last 
successfully, stood his ground against his numerous 
and triumphant foes. 

It is the work of a young man, and of a Sicilian, 
who had to learn and form the language in which 
he writes. The style wants elegance; the construc¬ 
tion of the liistoi-y is imperfect, and, at times, 
rambling; but it has the first and best merit of 
a work of genius—^it is written from the heart. 
The enthusiasm of the author carries the reader 
along with him; you forget the imperfections in 



AND ITALY. 


211 


the justness of his retleetions, and the sincerity of his 
convictions; you excuse the absence of methodical 
order as you arc carried away by the interest which 
he throws over the facts he narrates.* 

* This work was first published at Palermo ahoiit two yeats ago, 
under the title of “ Un Periodo dclle Istoric Sicilianedel iJijolo 13““.” 
The manuscript was of course Quilted to the censor of the press, 
who permitted its publication. It acquired universal reputation, and 
was cnthusiasticall}' received in the kingdoiii of Naples. As soou as 
public attention was excited, the police of that state grew suspicious 
and fearful. The book was juulnbited, the rcmaiidng copies were 
sequestrated, ami all notire of it in newsppers and iieriodical works, 
which hod already begun Ui praise the authoi and give an account 
of his book, was forbidden. The jicrsccmtiun did nut cease here; 
influenced by some sinister, and, as ss supposed, jicrsonai motive, 
Del Carretto, director or minister of the police, gave ordcis that 
Amari should be dismissed from an employment ho held in a 
government uflicc, and sent to Naples. Signor Amari was warned 
in time, and convinced that a lung and severe im|irisonmont awaited 
him at the capital, be preferred going into voluntary c.xilu from his 
country, to falling into the hands of a cruel enemy. Signor Amari 
is at present living in Palis, where he jtublisliod, about a ycai' ago, 
a second edition of his work, under the amended title of “ Guerra 
del Vespio Siciliano,” with currcctions and additions. lie is at present 
occupied in collecting materials for the compilation of a history of 
Sicily, from the occuimtiou of the Saracens; for which, as he must 
consult Arabic documents, he is studying with unwearied ardour; 
he thus adds another proof that the Italians of the present day are 
capable of severe applieatiun and learned r^carch, in addition to the 
frequent gift of remarkable talents.—1844. 



212 


RAMBLES 1\ GERMANY 


LETTEB XVII. 

Voyage to Rome. 

March 20. 

I LEFT England, as you know, with very vague 
ideas of whither I should go. J did not dare enter¬ 
tain a hope that I should visit Rome. But, 

Tliodght by thought, and step by Btep led on/' 

We Lave reached what Dr. Johnson says is the 
aim of every man’s desire. 

My companions dreaded a long veturim journey, 
whose leisure is a false lure, since you always arrive 
too late, and set out too early, to see anything 
in the towns where you stop. I consented to go 
by sea, and Heaven rewarded the act of self-sacrifice. 

We left Florence at twelve at night, in one of 
the most uncoiufaktable veturim carriages I ever 
had the ill fortune to enter. The moon was near 
its full, and its bright snow-like glare almost 
blinded my friends, who rode outside, and prevented 
them from sleeping. The morning dawned golden 
and still; and, although it was Mai’ch, we anti- 



ANJ) ITALY. 


213 


cipatcd a calm voyage. So it proved. We embarked 
on board the “ Castor,” a small, but well-built and 
quick steamer, and drojqied down towards Elba. 
Tin; view from the sea near Leghorn is not suffici¬ 
ently praised. The Ligurian Alps 

** Towanls llio Nortli appearetT,, 

Thro' mist, a heuvon : SMStainiiig bahvuikf reared 
Rctnccn tlic east and wcbt.” 

Tlie sun went down beneath the sea, and the full 
moon rose at the same moment from behind the 
promontory of Piombino—hay.y at first,—but as she 
rose higher, assuming her plac- as radiant Queen 
of Night. We passed between tlic island of Elba, 
whose dark and distinct outline rose out of the calm 
water, and the sliadowy form of distant Corsica; as 
wc proceeded, other and other islands appeared 
studding th<! tranquil deep, and varying its sublime 
monotony. It was very difficult to consent to shut 
one’s eyes on so very fair a scene. 

At sunrise wc were on deck again, and the steamer, 
with that sort of pride, which a boat always seems to 
exhibit when it reaches its l^rnc, entered the 
harbour of Civita Vccehia. Wc were detained for 
pratique till eight o’clock, when the Governor got 
up, and for three hours we had full leisure to con¬ 
template the growth of the morning on the sea, and 
to feci tired of conjectm’cs about the towers and 



214 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

buildings on shore. As soon as we landed, and had 
breakfasted, and were refreshed, wc set off in a sepa¬ 
rate diligence for the Eternal City. 

The road for some miles bordered the sea. The 
shore is varied by little bays, inlets, and promon¬ 
tories-—every five miles is a watch-tower,—^thc Ma- 
remma is spread around, deadly in its influence on 
man, but in ap^arance, a wild, verdant, varied 
pasture land, with here and there a giwe of trees, 
and broken into hill and dale : the waves sparkled 
on our right; the land stretched out pleasant to 
the eye on the left; mountains showed themselves 
on the horizon. No one can look on this country 
as merely so much earth—every clod is a sacred 
relic—every stone is an object of curiosity—every 
name we hear satisfies some desire or awakens some 
cherished association. And thus, in a sort of trance 
of delight, we were whirled along, till the old walls 
appeared. We entered by the Janiculum, and 
skirted the Place of St. Peter’s; then the pleasant 
spell was snapped, as we had to tum our thoughts to 
custom-houses, h^ls, and all the worry of arrival. 

Evening advanced; but what ailed the Romans ? 
they were all looking up at the sky—it was an epi¬ 
demic—in crowds or singly, not an eye looked 
straightforward; all were looking at the heavens;— 
at a tum in the street we looked too, and saw in the 



AND ITALY. 


215 


south a long trail of glowing light; we were the 
more surprised, as we had perceived nothmg of the 
sort the previous night at sea. It was a comet, of 
course;—docs it shine in your more northern hemi¬ 
sphere? here, it loses itself among the stars of 
Orion, while the nucleus is below the viable hori- 
zon;—it is bright, yet the stars shine through its 
web-like texture, which, composed of thin beams, is 
stretched out, and you may see delicate sea-weeds— 
or aipiatic plants in a stream, through a large space 
of the heavens. 



21G 


llAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER XVJII. 


Usiffui-lle at Rome. 


April 5. 


The multitude of pictures and statues at Home is 
such, that it is (juite impossible to give the most 
cursory account of the, Galleries. I havt; hceu more 
struck even than 1 expected, by what I have seen ; 
the limits*of man’s power appear enlarged to the 
uttermost verge of all that the imagination can 
conceive of beautiful and great. 

'fhe admirable proportion of the templc-likc 
chambers in which the finest relics of ancient 
statuary are placed—the snatehes of views that you 
cateh, from 0 ])cn windows, of the papal gardens and 
the country around the city, renders a visit to the 
Vatican a step out of every-day life into a world 
adorned by the works of the highest genius of all 
countries and all times. It is a great pity that they 
are not arranged in a manner to instruet the 
spectator as to the age and schools to which they 
belong—the collection at the Vatican greatly needs 



AND ITALY. 


217 


to be regulated by enligbtcncd criticism—but here, 
everytliiiig is done from paltiy motives: a man, 
who in some way can command jiatronagc, writes t 
catalogue of all the statues, and clianges their 
numbers and places, to make it necessary that you 
should buy bis book ; so that tliose wjjo go with 
the 1 ‘luborate and learned works of ticrinan critics 
in their bauds, find every rei'ereuee a mistake, and 
get hoj'elessly embroiled. 

It is said tliat all the works of ancient (ireciau 
sculpture bear the. character of divine rejiose ; and 
that those .statues which are in altitudes of action, 
arc tile works of (Jreeks, indeeil, but e.'.ecutcd when 
(irecee was a province, at the conunand of Koman 
nia'-ters. Among such, is the Ajtollo Uelvidere, 
which is not adorned by the faultless jterfection 
of Athenian art—yet who can eritieise 1 .As I 
entered the compartment in which lie stands, a 
divine jtresence seemed to fill the chamber. The 
goillike archer is stepping forward ; his gesture and 
look breathe the eagiuTiess and gladness of victory. 
In some soil, this statue is the ideal ol’ a youthful 
hero—but he is not human—there is no trace of 
the chivalrous feeling, that e\en in triumph honours 
the fallen, lie is above fear and above pity. 

From room to room the eye is so fed by sights of 
beauty, “ that the sense aches at them : ” truly the 

VOL. II. L 



21S RAMBLES IN OERSIANY 

liinb.s iinivilliiigly fiiil. From the hulls of the statues 
you go thniiigh long galleries lilled Mith funereal 
unis, ancient iinijis, anil old taiiestry worked from 
llafraellc.’s cartoons, into rooms where, the jiaiutings 
arc. It is managed so, that when you have passed 
through all, you ipiit the rooms hy the loggie of 
Uafraclle, and the Swiss on guard does not permit 
you to vctuni;—there is no great harm in this—as 
it would he nearly im])ossihle to walk the whole way 
hack again. t’isitors ought, nevertheless, to he 
allowed to enter hy this door at choice, that they 
may at once reach the. iiiclnves williout the extra 
lahonr of traversing the I'xtensive galleries that lead 
to them. Of the oil jiaintings we sec here, the 
San (ieroniino hy Oomenichino is perha])s the tincst. 
Of the 'I’ranstiguration I have heforc sjioki.-n : as a 
composition, it is esteemed the grandest jiieturc 
in the world; but I turn from it to others (to 
the Madonna di Foligno, for instance) of an earlier 
date, in nhich there is a more heavenly grace; 
an expression of celestial and jmre beauty, an 
emanation of the immortal soul, superior to any 
perfect ion oi' colouring or gronjiing. 

Hut it is among the frescos of Rafraellc that I 
have lingered longest with the greatest delight. 
These were the first n orks of this matchless painter, 
when called to Rome, lie had been soliciting leave 



AND ITALY. '219 

to be associated with Leonardo da Vinci and Michael 
Angelo in painting the halls of the Palazzo Vccchio,^ 
at Florence, when Pope Julius II. called him to 
Home, and gave him in charge to adorn the walls 
of th(; Vatie.aii. 

At tliis time iVliehael Angelo was, I will not say, 
his rival; hut, as he jiaiuted the Sistine Chapttl 
while Haffaelle was engaged upon the Vatican, a 
passiti'i of geiier ms emulaiion rose in the heart of 
the latter that sjiurred him on to work with inde¬ 
fatigable ardour. ;Vs Lanzi tells us, the subjects 
chosen for these halls el. vati'd his imagination. 
They were not scenes from old mythology, “ but 
the mysteries of the noblest science — the ntost 
angn.st cireiimstaiiees }>ertaiiiiiig to religion, and 
military dei-cl.s whose result e.stablished ])eaee. and 
faith in the world.” None bitter than HaiTaelle 
could achieve this ivork; for of all men he had 
firmest hold of “that goldi.'ii chain whiidi is let 
down from Heaven, asid with a divine enthu.siasm 
ravishes our souls, made to the image of Hod, and 
stirs us up to com[)reliend the innate and incor- 
rujjtible beauty to which we were once created.”* 

He began by the figures of Theology, Philosophy, 
Poetry, and Jurisprudence, on the arched roof of 
oue of the rooms. The figures of Theology and 

* Plato's lou. .Shelley’s Essays. 

2 


1. 



220 


llA.VIliLKS IX fii;a.MA\V 


I’octry, particularly tlic lallcr^ arc in the highest 
style of mystic art. Tlii^ ]>icturc. named the 
Dispute of the Sacrament—if that he tlic name of 
a jiic.turc wliich is, after all, nameless—covers one of 
the walls. Tlicrc is an asscmhlagir of all the doctors 
ot the elivreli. and among them liatfaelle boldly 
placed Dante, with his laurel crown, and, .still more 
boldly, Savanarola, who ten yiiars hefori^ had been 
publicly hurjied at Flonmee as a heretic.* .\hove 
the.se grou|)s, heaven opens, and the Trinity and 
the Angels are congregated. Hy the lovers of tlie 
luystie school, this picture is jireferred to every 
other; yet J was more struck hy that which 
n pre.sents the \ isioii driving lleliodorus from 
the Teni))le. The story, as told in the Apoervpha,t 
IS fitted to e\eiti‘ the imagination. Through the 
relation of Simon, Seleneus sent lleliodorus, his 
treasurer, to si’ize on the wealth of the Temple, 
laid u]) hy Onias, the Iligli I’riest, for the relief 
ol widens and fatherless ehildren. When Helio- 
dorus entered the Temjile to execute the king’s 
eoimnand, “ there was no small agonv throughout 
the whole I'ily. IIkui. nhoso looked tlic high priest 
in the faei-, it would have wounded his heart; for 
liis countenance, and the changing of his colour, 
i!i dared the inward agony of his mind.” The 


• M. K;o. 


f Atwcal.cc!?, ii. 3. 



AND ITALY. 




whole city ilockctl, transported by indignation and 
grief. “ And all, holding up their hands to heaven,, 
made sup])licatiou.” lleliodorus, nevertlu;less, per¬ 
sisted ; but when he presented himself at the 
treasury, “the Ijord of Spirits, and the J’ririee of 
all power, caused a great apjiarition, *s*) that all 
that j)rcsiuned to eonie. in with him wau'e astonished 
at the power of (Jod, and fainted, and were sorit 
afraid.” 

Jt is deemed the triumph of art to adorn llie 
real with .something grander than meets the, ordi¬ 
nary gaze; hut to jtaint* the sujierhuman, and 
convey to the eyes the image of that which 
surpasses the might of visible ohjcicts, and can 
seare(.'ly be conceived by the strongest effort of 
the. imagination, is that which Itaffaelle only eoidd 
aehhwe. In this fresco the vision of a “ hor.se 
with a terrible rider ” fills the beholder with awa— 
the one shakes tesrror from his looks, while the 
horse may be seen to neigh and breathe destruc¬ 
tion around. The ligures of the, two youths, 
“notable in strength, and excellent in beauty,” 
who are driving the spoiler with scourges from 
the Temple, are divine in sw'iftness and might. 
Celestial indignation animates their gestures, and 
motion was never painted so real, so impetuous, 
so uncontrollable. 



222 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

This was among the latter works of Raffaelle. 
Whether it be, as ]\I. llio ai'gues, tliat falling from 
that high devotional state of mind which inspired 
his younger works, he could no longer rise to ideal 
perfection, or that the remains of antique art at 
Rome, and'the sinqde and majestic pencil of iMichac;! 
Angelo, in the Sistine Chapel, giving larger scope 
to his ideas of composition, he began a new style, 
and the powers of man being limited, tin; attaining 
something new, however excellent, occasioned him to 
lose a portion of that which he before^ ]>()ssessed ; 
there can be no doubt that his manner entirely 
changed. I am not always disposed to regret this 
alteration. It lias been the cause of a variety in 
excellence; for if we miss in his latter pictures the 
portraiture of innocence, and divine love, repre¬ 
sented in the Madonnas and saints of his first style, 
we have something else, which no one but Raffaelle 
could give. To understand me, let me ask you to 
call to mind the Madonna di Foligno in the 
Vatican, and the Descent from the Cross in the 
Palazzo Borghese. The first beams, with au adorable 
and beatified sweetness, all purity and love. In the 
second, do j'oii remember, besides the many other 
pity-striking figures, the St. John? He is holding 
one end of the cloth which enfolds his dead mas¬ 
ter’s body. The expression of agony proper to the 



AND ITALY. 


223 


beloved diseiplc, stniggles with the exertion of 
strength neecssitated by the aet on wliich lie is, 
employed; the resolution to jierform the rites due 
to the dead, is mingled with yearning veneration for 
the eorpse of him whom he jiassionately adored. 
These pictures arc the triumph of Christian art. 
Then rceollect the frescos of the history of Psyche 
in the Farncsiiia, and the youthful and uyn)])h-Iikc 
loveliness of the dalatea—th(;s(' arc sjieeiniens of 
his last style—and form your own opinion as to 
his improvement or otherwise. Wliiebever way you 
incline, there is one c<*iiclusiou to whieli you 
must ncces.sarily come, that llatraellc in both styles, 
the Christian and the Pagan, is su|)erior to every 
other painter— “ high actions and high passions 
h<\st describing.” 

Day after day, often accompanied by our accom¬ 
plished friend, whose taste and knowledge, are 
invaluable, w'e visit the galleries of Rome. In one 
small chamber of the Barberini jialace arc three gems 
of art; and in the.sc!, expression ajipeared trium¬ 
phant over skill, to the disadvantage of Ralfaelle. 
A portrait of the Fornarina is contrasted with that 
of Beatrice Cenci, by Guido. In vain I was told to 
compare the exqui.sitc finish, the faultless painting 
of check and lip, of the disagreeable-looking beauty, 
with the comparatively imperfect touches of Guido’s 



KAMBLES IN OERBUNY 


OO.l 
1 ' 

])f‘iicil. Tli<! iiiiiocciit, tearful face of tlie young and 
lovely girl, wlioso look expresses the self-pity which 
must have swelled in her heart, as she thouglvt, how 
she, from \eiT horror of crime, was become a imir- 
deress, ])ut to sliame the dark eyes and pencilled 
brows oi' lit'i’, M iiose passion was devoid of tender¬ 
ness. It is gratifying to sec the work of an English 
painter in a Homan clmreli. ITie pictiire by i\Ir. 
Severn in the Cathedral of San Paolo fuore delle 
Mura, is a beautiful composition, and shews to great 
advantage. It is the. first work of a Protestant 
artist admitted into a ICmian cliiireh. Tln^ high 
esh'em in whieli Mr. Severn was held in Home 
ensured Ihm tliis distinction. 

I have vi>it('d with great pleasure tlie studios of 
modern stat naries. They are mo.stly now employed in 
portraying or idealizing a Capuan peasant-woman, 
la (Jrazia, whose beauty is of an expressive, mobile, 
and grand east. The best rei)reseutation of her is 
as llagar in the desert. 

The ang('lof the day of judgment, by Tencraiii, is 
very fine; and ^Ir. Gibson’s studio contains statues 
admirably ('xecuted in that classic taste which he so 
successfully cultivates. 



ANJ) ITALY. 


LETTER XIX. 

Uuiii .1 of Rome.—The Holy Week.—Music and illuinluntioiiK. 

Tiiimta dk’ Mo.nti, AI'KIL. 

‘‘W’liAT uro tLt; ploasures that 1 ciijity at Roiik;!'” 
you ask. They arc so many, that my mind is 
hrimful of a sort of glovvi^ig .satisfaction, mingled 
with tearful associations. Ihisidcs all that Rome 
itself affords of delightfid to the eye and imagina¬ 
tion, 1 revisit it as the bourne of a jiious jiiigrimage. 
The treasures of my youth lie; buried here. 

The sky is bright—the air impregnated with the 
soft odours of spring—we take our books and wile 
away the morning among the ruins of the Raths 
of Caracalla, or the Coliseum. From the shiittered 
walls of the former, the vicnv over the city and tlu^ 
Campagna is very beautiful. The I’alatine is mar 
at hand, and majestic ruins guide th<' eye to where 
the golden palace spreads its vast extent. These 
ruins, chiefly piles of brick—^remnants of massive 
walls or lofty archways—may not be beautiful in 
themselves j but overgrown with parasites and 
l3 



226 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


flowering shrubs, they arc grouped in so picturesque 
a manner among broken ground and dark gigantic 
trees—the many tovvexs of the city gatlicriiig near— 
the distant hills on tlie clear horizon, with clouds 
just resting in scattered clusters on the tojis, and 
the sky above, deejdy blue—that the. whole scene 
is delightful U>j!r/, as well as look at. 

There is one view from the Coliseum that I am 
never tired of contemplating. Ascending to the 
second range of arches, and looking from tin: verge 
towards tin; tomb of Ce.stius—in the foreground 
is the Temple of Venus, the. I’alatine Mount, and 
the ruins of the Forum—the country, varied by 
woods and hills and ruins, is spread beyond—the 
tomb of Cestius, gleaming at a distance, is a resting- 
place for the eye—and various trees seem placed 
expressly to give the scene the air of a landscape 
sitting for its picture—all grace and smiles and 
radiance. 

Tlie Forum used to b(% long, long ago, before 1 
ever saw it, a broken sjjace of gi-ound, wdth an 
avenue through the Canqio Vacino leading to the 
Coliseum, with triinnjdial arches and tall columns 
half-buried in the; soil. Now Ahe excavations arc 
considerable. I have heard painters lament that the 
picturesque beauty has been spoilt; but as its appear¬ 
ance, such as time and neglect had left it, is changed. 



AND ITALY. 




it is as well to complete the task of excavation. 
Much has been done since 1 was here last, and 
workmen are in constant employ. 1 wish you could 
see the chief among them. Imagine an Indian 
file of fifty old men in the last stage of decrepitude, 
grey-headed, hent-shouldered, and fciWc-legged, 
each rolling a small wheelbarrow, crce[)ing along so 
slow, and yet that extreme slowness apja-ariug an 
exertion for them. 

From the Foi-iun we ascended the lull of the 
Capitol, and, with some troulile, got the custode, 
and mounted the tower of the Cam]>idogho. 
We looked round, and fancied how, from this 
height, the patricians and consuls of Old Home 
watched the advance of marauding parties that 
wound out from the raxincs of the hill.s, or whose 
spears and helmets glittered above the brow of the 
Jauicular hill; and the ery of the Sabines, or fiercer 
and more terrible, of the; Cauls, made the populace 
gather in the Forum below, and give their names 
to be inscribed as soldiers for instant fight. The 
Tiber glitters in the tlistanec, and Soracte rising 
from out the plain, 

** Heaves like a lonj;.swept wave, about to break, 

And on the curl hangs pausing.’** 

I never look at the ridge of Sanf Oreste, (as it 


* Childe Harold, Canto IV. 



22S 


RAMBXES IN GERMANY 


is now called,) but these lines, which so admirably 
jiaint it, come into my mind. 

I scarcely know what ^■iew of Home to prefer. 
1’hat Iron! the ruined llaths of Cariicalla, or from 
the verirc of the Coliseum, or the panorama of 
tbe (^iipilol, (»!' from the ])orch of the Latenm, which 
eommanils a different landscape.—You see nothin" of 
the city, for your back is turned on it; you arc on 
ii hei/ilil, the Campagim iit your feet, sj)anned by a 
uumlu.'i- of ruined aqueducts, whose grandeur and 
extent impress the mind, more than any other 
olqeet, uilh a sense of liomaii greatness, rroni the 
Jjaterau doun to the Coliseum, nearly a mile, and 
in the adjoining space, was the most inagnilieent 
quarter of the old city. Now it is occupied by 
I'oderi, divided by high walls, with here and there 
a ruin—iv to|i|>ling wall or broken arch. When 
I’ope Gregory VII. called in Ilobert Guiscard to 
drive 1 hairy III. from his capital, the Saracens of 
Sicily, under the command of the Norman, sacked 
Itoini', iind this portion of the city was burned and 
levelled with the. soil. So utter was the desolation, 
that the survivors foiuid it more convenient to build 
nearly a new town at a distance, than to attempt 
to restore their homes among the smoking ruins of 
pidaces, teinjiles, and baths, which lay a black heap, 
till they crumbled away—and trees and flowers 



AND ITALY. 2^9 

sprung up, fiiid the pleasantry came with the jilougli, 
and sowed seed aiid reaiied corn. 

We spent half a day rambling over the J’iilatine- - 
the Contadiiio, our guide, told us that every .Inly 
aJid August, the nial’ aria reigned, and his sunken 
eheeks s[)oIce of his having been a vietini. lie 
asked us if we had liie inal’ aria in Knglaiid.— 
“Che bel ]iacse,” he said with a sigh on hearing 
our negativi'. 

Often, as at Venice, we leave our home without 
any definite object, and wander about the deserted 
part of Jionie—that which miee was the centre of 
its niagnificenec. 1'hus we vimied the Church of 
Santa Maria degli Angeli, built by Michael Angelo, 
w'ith materials, eohnnns and marbles, remnants of 
the Maths of Diocletian; it is one of the most 
striking and majestic of the lloniau ehurehes. Thus 
we found ourselves at the, foot of the Ca])ilol, and an 
inscription led us to visit the .Mainertine prisons, 
a spot held sacred since St. I‘efer and other Chris¬ 
tian martyrs were, conliiied thei'e. It is indubitably 
the oldest relic of the ancient republic, and the 
monument of its cruel and arrogant disdain for 
human life and sulFering, impresses one painfully. 
How much of that has there ever been all over 
the world—and now! I used to jiride myself on 
English humanity; but the boast is quenched in 



23d 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


shame, since I read, last winter, the accounts of the 
cruelties praetis(;d in the Affglmii ivar. We were 
injured, and, thci-<-fore, we rcveujre; sueh also was 
the t(!uct of old Koine. 

The galleries of the Capitol often entice us. Here 
arc some ef the finest statues in the w^orld. The 
Amazon, in whom a severe and martial expression 
is allied to feminine grace, and a something womanly 
softens the. countenance in spite of stcniiiess. The 
Venus of the Capitol is the only Queen of Heauty 
that can at all eomjiele with the Goddess of the 
Tribune. The Cujiid and I’syehe is less tender and 
innocent than the Tloienliue group, but there is a 
passionate love in tlic caress that makes the marble 
appear tremidous with emotion. 


A mil, 20. 

Holy Week is over. The ceremonies of the 
Church strike me as less majestic than when J was 
last here; perhaps this is to be attributed to the 
chief part being tilled by another actor. I’ius VII. 
w'as a venerable and dignified old man. Pope 
Gregory, shutting his eyes as he is earned round 
St. I’cter’s, beeausi' the motion of the chair makes 
him sea-sick, by no means excites respect. If 1 
ever revisit Rome during the Holy Week, I shall 
not seek for tickets for the ceremonies; it will 



AND ITALY. 231 

be quite enough to enter the Cathechul for half-an- 
hour while they were going on. 

But a thousand times over I would go to listen 
to the Miserere in the Sistino Chapel j that spot 
made sacred by the most sublime works ol’ Michael 
Angelo. 1 do not allude to tlni Last JAulgment— 
which 1 do not admire—but to the paintings on the 
roof, which have that simple grandeur that Michael 
Angelo alone could confer on a single ligure, making 
it complete in itself—enthroned in niaj(?sty—reign¬ 
ing over the soids of men. 

The music, not only of ^he Miserere, but »)f the 
Lamentations, is solemn, patlnd.ic, religious—the 
soul is rapt—carried away into another stiite of 
being. Strange that grief, and laments, and the 
humble petition of repentance, should till us with 
delight—a delight that awakens thes(; very emotions 
in the heart—and calls t(;ais into tin; eyes, and 
yet which is dearer than any jileasnre. it is 
one of the mysteries of our nature, that the 
feelings which most torture and subdue, yet, if 
idealised—tdevated by the imagination—married 
harmoniously to sound or colour—turn those pains 
to hapjiincss; inspiring adoration; and a tremulous 
but ardent aspiration for immortality. Such seems 
the sentient link between our heavenly and terres¬ 
trial nature; and thus, in Paiadisc, as Dante tells. 



!i;32 RAMBLES IX CERAIAXY 

—glory beatifies the sight, and sera])hie liarmoiiy 
wraps the saints in bliss. 

Another siglit f)f this weth, is th(i washing of the 
feet of fhe pilgrims. The ladies of l{.oiue l)elong 
to a sisterhood who ])erforni this sen'iee on Good 
Friday for the female pilgrims. Tlie hospital of the 
I’elegrini was crow'ded; we eoidd hardly imike onr 
way. In my life I never saw so nnieh female beauty 
as among the. sisterhood—their faces so ])eiTcet in 
contour; so lovely in exjn’ession; so noble, iUid so 
soft, that the recollection will haunt my memory 
for e\er. 

I went to mass at the Church of the Jesuits—as 
usual glittering with ornaments, precious stones, 
wax-lights, and all manner of finery. The music 
was ill the same style—well suited for the Opera- 
house ; it would, there ha\ c enchiiiited; but it 
wanted that solemn, religious descant, which awed 
the sjiirit in the Sistiuc Chapel. 

The illumination of St. I’eter’s terminated the 
sights of the week—that and the fire-works of the 
Castcl Sant’ Angelo.—There is more of creation in 
the first of these sights than in any other in the 
world. It is but a dim, and scant, and human 
imitation of the third verse of the fii'st chapter of 
Genesis ; but it is an imitation of the most sublime 
act of dime power; and though bearing but a 



AND ITALY, 


233 


vi'i'y weak reseiiiblaiice to wliat wo imagine ot' tlic 
moiiKuit wlicn, on a nord, liglit disclosed tlie glories 
of en^ation, yet, llicre is darkness, and radiance 
sudden and dazzling biu'sts forth, and—it is lery 
fine. 

It is curious to see all these soleiiinitfcs—many 
of them doubtless of J’agaii origin—dear to the 
]ieo])le, and llierefore preserved and cliristianised by 
the J’oj)es—and to rcih^ct, that such, for many, many 
centuries, was the chief link fostered In religion 
between man and the l)i\inity. W'c have obli¬ 
terated all this among our''i'hes. \o doubt (he 
impulse of |)iety in the heart is a truer and purer 
oblation ; but Catholics reason that thirse are aids 
and supports t.() enable wc;dc humanity—a creature 
half matter, half soul — to suslaiu itself in its 
pious eestaeies. Ilesides, God created in us not 
only the sense of, but also in some degree the 
])ower of creating the beautiful; and is it not well 
to dedicatf' to divine worship tlie glorious gifts 
which were bestowed for the jnirposc of raising the 
son! from earth and linking it to Heaven? 



234 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTEll XX. 

The Pontifical States. 

May 3. 

“Wherever the Catliolic religion is establislieil, 
I have uniformly observed indolence, with its con¬ 
comitants, dirt and beggary, to prevail; and the 
more Catholic is the place, the more they 
abound.” * These are the words of a clever 
writer, well acquaiuted with Home, apropos of 
Home. It must be added, that wherever the 
Catholic religion prevails, great works of chaiity 
subsist. During the time of Cathoheism, chari¬ 
table institutions, as is well known, abounded all 
over England—in some few obscure corners such 
still survive, where the old may find a peaceful 
refuge—^not in crowd(!d reeejrtaclcs, where they 
arc looked ou as useless bm’thcns on a heavily- 
taxed parish—^but in decent almshousesf, bordering 
grassy enclosures, near gardens that supply their 
table j peaceful nooks, where the aged may converse 
with natui’e, and find the way to the grave soothed 


Romo in the Nineteenth Ccntuiy. 



AND ITALY. 


235 


by tliat calm so di^ar to declining years.* Jesus 
Qirist so forcibly recoinuieiided the ])oor to all 
who professed his religion, that, in common with 
all other Christians, every good Catliolic considers 
works of charity to be his jiaramonnt duty. One 
of the mo.st enliglitened, I’aseal, gave, jf,touching 
proof of this, when, on liis de-ath-bed, he only 
admitted his jjains to be soothed by carefid nursing, 
on condition that two ])an])ers in the same state 
should receive the same, attentions in an adjoining 
apartment. The poor were to him objects of real 
and tender affection. 

As eleemosynary charity is an essential portion of 
Catholicism, we may exjM^et that it slionld flourish 
in the capital of the Catholic woi'ld. There are 
many beggars, but thei-e is no absolute want, at 
Home. Ileggaiy is a condition, and it becomes a 
matter of favour to be allowed tv> beg. Plates of 
metal are givcm to such as are permitted, and 
fastened to the arm of poor defovnied objects, who 
are to be found in every corner of tin; city, asking 
alms. Many convents distribute food rcgidarly at 
different hours, when all who ask may have. 
There is, beside.s, a house of industry, I lujar, 
earned on on excellent jiriuciples. There are, to 

• The want of coiivcutual chaiitics^ whose funds, on the Kcforin- 
ation, were grecdilj’appropriated by the laity, forced (juecD Klizabetk 
to iustitttto the Poor-Laws. 



23G 


RAMilUvS I.\ (WniMA.W 


the destruction of tlie savings of the poor, state 
lotteries all over Italy. It was considered that tl^is 
demoralising gambling ought not to he kept up in 
the capital of the hetid of the church; but it was 
argued that a love of jnitting in the lottery could 
not b<; rooted out, and while T'^ajtles, Tuscany, and 
Venice had lotteri(!s, the Homans would send their 
money to those states, if they could not be indulged 
at horiKo • A Itouian lottery therefore exists, and the 
proceeds go to k(;ep nj) a hotise of industry. Here 
a number of young ])eo])le arc taught various ti’ades. 
Young men arc aj)])'-eutieed, and girls receive 
dowries, while the old people have a home that 
smoothes their jiassage to the grave. Ilesidcs the.se 
conventual aids and government institutions, there 
are many conl’ralernities of citizens whose bond of 
duty is (harity to the sick and poor. People of 
all classes of society belong to them, and meet 
on an eipial footing. The. city is dividi'd into 
several ipiarters, and the various confraternities 
havi! each one assigned to them, which they visit 
and relieve. 

Several of the jiersons I know remained in Home 
during the visitation of the cholera in 1837, and 
they still vividly remember the horror of the time. 

It was a conviction, a superstition, nourished by 
the church, that this fatal epidemic would spare 



ANn ITAl-Y. 


237 


tlic Holy City, and the arf^iinicnts nrp;ccl to prove 
its ('\('ni])tiou were al)surd, and yet liorrible to hear. 
W'iien the jrreat heats of Augnst set in, and a few 
eases liepin to lx; mentioned, the sovennnent, jrrowii 
frantie thronjrh min^ded terror and lolly, thought 
only ol' eonvineing the jieople tliat iionie.wonid l)e 
sjiared. I’lie jx'st might he said to have been wi‘1- 
eoined hy illuminations and ])roressions, and its 
\inilenee propagated and liM'd hy the poor people 
being eiieonraged to go at'oiil harei'ooi, while their 
last eoin was drained from them to buy oil for lamps 
to burn in the elinrehes. '1 le- steii'h and lieat in 
these ediliees heeame of itself pestilential, for the 
siiinnier was more sultry even than usual, and the 
erowds that tilled tluaii were treinnidons. Groups 
of [H'rsons were to be seen in the streets and 
ehurehes, standing barefoot before the Madonnas 
and crucifixes, exjieeting to see the images ojien 
their eyes and shed blood, both of which iniriicles, 
it was averred, had taken place. J5nt this absurd 
butfooiiery stunk into insignifieanee compared with 
the dreadful ideas purjio.sely ]mt into the jx-.ople’s 
minds about jioi.son; in the early stage of the 
epidemic, several persons fell victims to the frenzy 
thus occasioned. 

In the middle of August the ino.st sjdendid illu¬ 
minations had ]>lacc all over Koine,—a thanksgiving 



2.l8 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

to God for sparing tlio city. On the 15th, the I’ope 
set out in jn’oeession to accompany a famous black 
Madonna from the; Church of Santa IVIaria Mag- 
giorc to St. I’etcr’s. Thrice lie was stopped by 
storms. Pcojile crowded in to join from all the, 
towns and villages in a (urcuit of many miles. 
The vast concourse, the excitement of thi^ proces¬ 
sion, and the violent rains to which they were 
exposed, barefoot ami barclieaded, tended only to 
exasperate the power of the epidemic. On that day 
many jiersons dital: the illusion vanished—it was 
admitted that the cholera was in Home. Strangers 
and nobles He<l, and Ibi' two months the most 
fearful scenes had place. The d{>ad-eart went all 
night—jicopic fell down in the streets, convulsed 
by the frightful spasms of that terrible disease; 
J5,(XK) persons (about one in ten of the whole 
pojmlation, 150,000) died at Home. 

The Hope shut himself up in the Quirinal. 
Every one who entered the palace was obliged to 
undergo fumigation — a thing abhorrent to the 
Romans, who detest every kind of jierfumc. An 
imperative* order was issued that the. cardinals, the 
heads of government, and various emploj/cs, should 
not quit the city—but it was verj' ill obeyed— 
government was indeed paralysed, and great fears 
were entertained, esj)ccially at first, of the violence 



AND ITALY. 


239 


of tlio iijnorfint. and wretchedly misguided people. 

If you were to iniagiiur the devil insane,” wrote 
an Englisli goitleman, “ it might give you some 
notion of the slate of things, aud they already 
talk of sending for some Austrian troops.” As 
the e])ideniic jnirsned its course, the pegplc grew 
at tirst familiar willi it, and then coweef. Their 
state was most hoi’rihle. 1 have heard, from one 
who was (in the spot, tliat it was greyly to be 
doubted wlicther all who were borne nightly in 
the dead-earts to hidi-ons, unhonoured sepulture, 
really died of eholera. Tin re was reason to be¬ 
hove that many AVere vie!inis of a vimlent tyjihus, 
brought on by acts of su])erstitioii aud excessive 
fear—and, worse slill, tliat numbers died of starva¬ 
tion. The administrators of government having 
for the most part tied or shut themselves up—a 
strict cordon being diiovn round the city, and the 
neighbourhood struck with ineoneeivable panic— 
food grew scarce, and the poor Avretehes who had 
spent their last in propitiating Heaven by lamps and 
candlc.s, Avithout money aud Avithout succour, died 
of want. , 

Yet there was not absent many redeeming 
touches in the dark jiicturc of the times. The 
regular clergy fullilled their duties unshrinkingly; 
and the conduct of the Jesuits was particularly 



240 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


adiniiabl(!. Tlu'v visited every corner of tlic cit\, 
watcliing by death-beds witli unweai’ied zeal. They 
were seen taking;, with j^entle care, babe.s from tlu’ 
sides of their mothers, who lay dead in the streets, 
wrajeping tlnnn tenderly in their black gowns, and 
earrying lliein to places appointed for their refuge. 
The eonfruternilies also did 7iot desert their jiost. 
A Itoiiian told me he was one of three brothers; 
they removed their aged father to a safe ])laee, at 
a di.stanee from contagion, and remained them¬ 
selves : they were eni])loy(?d at dilfei-eut quarters 
of the city. “ I never felt happier,” said luy 
informant; “ our father was in sahdy; we had 
no fears i’or ourselves. All day we wen^ busied 
among the sick, and when we met in the evening, 
it wa.s with light hearts; the employment gave us 
something to do and to think about; the dangers 
we might be sn])poscd to run, endeared us to each 
other. 1 reme.mber now with regred. the sort of 
exhilaration with which we met, thanked (lod for 
our pix-servatiou, and then again went to our task, 
jiot oidy without fear, but with a feeling of 
gladness superior to every other hap])iness.” The 
few Kugli.sh, also, who remained, displayed un¬ 
shrinking courage. Lord C-, in particular, a 

Catholic nobleman, acted w'ith a heroism that shamed 
the Cardinals and heads of the state. He earnestly 



AND ITALY. 


241 


strove to prove how erroneous was the fear of con¬ 
tagion; the succour he brought, and the example 
he displayed, were of the utmost utility, and saved 
many, many lives. 

Tlie country round Rome, each town and village 
within its cordon; was left pretty much^to itself. 
No disturbances occurred, and the people showed 
themselves much more capable than could have been 
supposed, of self-government. One English family 
took refuge at Olevano, a small town, some fifteen 
miles from Rome. They went thither without the 
intention of remaining; they took very httlc money 
with them, and eould get nothing from Rome: 
the people of this little place showed them a kind¬ 
ness at once singular and touching. They not only 
provided them with provisions, but exerted them¬ 
selves to please and amuse them. Each day some 
little fete was given by the mere country people for 
their diversion; so that they seemed, like the per¬ 
sonages of the Decameron, to have escaped from a 
city of the pest, to enjoy the innocent pleasures of 
life with the greater zest. 

Such is the amiable and courteous disposition of 
this people, except when their violent passions urge 
them to crimes, which they scarcely look on as 
wicked; for they are taught (for heresy, read any 
sin against the ordinances of the church) 

VOL. II. H 



242 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


“ II gran pcccato e I’crcsia ! chc gli altri 
Pcaan tncn d’una piunia, c sc ue Tanno 
Con un segno di crocc.” ♦ 

Where men’s wants are few and easily supplied, 
where a benignant climate clothes the earth in 
abundance, and nature is the indulgent mother 
instead ol the stern overseer of our species, men have 
leisure, and, if they are idle, they become vicious. 
Th(^ air of Home inspires lassitude, and renders 
the inhabitants inert. The Homans who live in 
the healthy ])arts of the city are all inclined to 
grow fat; their language, unidiomatic, and, so to 
speak, long-winded in its expressions, is pronounced 
with a grace of accent, a slow and melodious 
empha.sis, that renders it more agreeable than any 
other Italian to the cars of strangers, and is strangely 
in hanmony with the dreamy contentment of their 
minds. Accustomed to receive and to gain by 
foreigners, they arc com'teous, amiable, and ready 
to serve; there is among them an air of easy 
indolence, which, though it mUitates against our 
notions of manly energy, yet is never brutalized into 
stupidity. The women are among the most beautiful 
of the Italians. You feel as if all lived under a spell; 
and so they do; for, troubled and unquiet as is 
the rest of the papal dominions, Rome and its 


* AmaUo da Breacia. 



AND ITADY. 


243 


immediate neighbourhood remains in a sort of 
hazy apathy. The Pope appreeiates highly their , 
passive submission, and does all he ean to ktjp 
them from emuiuunieating with the discontented 
districts. For this reason he is opposed to the 
construction of railroads j that, as he^says, his 
revolutionary suhjeels of the East may not corrupt 
his obedient children of the West. 

To the outward eyi', tlic ])apal government pays 
a slight tributes to the incrirased demands of the 
times. There is more deccney in the lives of the 
clergy; there is more douf for the poor. But it 
is not eleemosynary charity that is needed—it is 
the spirit of improvement, just laws and an uiiright 
administration — none of these e.vist; and even 
BCicntitic knowledge, encouraged in other parts 
of the peninsula, is forbidden. Meanwhile, pimal 
laws are slight, and seldom enforced. There is, 
some fifteen miles from the. city, a miserable col¬ 
lection of huts, in the middle of a tract of country, 
the peculiar haunt of inaP aria; it is called Campo 
Morto, and is an asylum of the Church. All 
criminals, who fear being taken, fly hither. The 
spot, consecrated as an asylum, is watched by 
soldiers. Tlie fugitive who once enters the fatal 
bounds, never dares leave them. Three years 
is the extent to which a man can drag out 

M 2 



244 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


existence in this pestilential atmosphere. So here 
the hardened criminal comes to die, in his desire to 
escape from death. He is soon struck by fever, 
grows Ibcble and emaciated; and at his appointed 
hour is gathered to the grave. 

The papiJ government is considered the worst 
in Italy; and the temporal rule of the Church 
is looked upon as the chief source of the nation’s 
misfortunes. This is no novel assertion. You 
may remember Dante’s apostrophe :— 

^ Ahi, Costantin, di qnanto mal fu matre^ 

Nod la tua ronverbiqQ, ma qnclla dote, 

Cbo da te preso i! primo ricco patre.’* 

In the middle ages the temporal power of the 
Popes urged them on to many acts of unjustifiable 
aggression; yet, as the faith of nations in those 
days made them strong, the people were, for the 
most part, their friends; kings, their enemies—and 
often they made the latter tremble on their thrones, 
while they showed themselves the protectors of the 
fonner. The Popes were then Guelphs, and watched 
over civil liberty, till attachment to temporal riches 
turned them into Ghibellincs, and led them to 
support the pretensions of sovereigns to absolute 
power. Savanorola denounced this unholy alhance 
as subversive of the purity, and even existence, of 
the Church. As faith decayed, and reform grew 



AND ITALY. 


245 


imminent, the compact between the head of a 
rehgion that jtrcached equality, and the sovereigns, 
who aimed at despotism, was scaled: while as the. 
revenues of the Church, so lately swollen by tributes 
from all the Christian world, decreased, the pontifl's 
clung more tenaciously to the few mill's of terri¬ 
tory which they claimed as their own.* 

Before the first French Revolution, English 
travellers denounced the temja'i ul rule of the Pojtes 

* “ Alii, la vedetr; 

Di jHirpora v vealita; oro, uioiiili, 

OoiiniiC t utta 1’ a<;praviii)o ; It* biaiichc 
Vebti, doli'/ia del priutici' r..dMlu, 

CLc or htaitcl ciclo^ clla perdd nol fango. 

IVrd di notni o di blusfumi c ptciia, 

K iicUa fruiite suh arimc ; Mislcro, 

Aliiy la 8ua vocc % coiisolar gli afflitti 
Non 9* ode pill; tutti tuinaccia, c cixa 
Con perenui anatciiii all' aluic incorti* 
liu-trabili pone ; gl' int'clici, 

(jui lo siaui tuttif nel commuu dolorc 
Correano ud abbracisami, cla crudelo 
Di CrUlo iti iiumc gii lia divihi; t padii 
luimica coi dgli, e Ic cousoiU 
Dai maritt dibgiungc, c pon la guerra 
Fra uaanimi fratclli: c del Vangelo 
Inturprete crudcl: 1’ odiu 8* iui|iara 
Nel Ubro dell' amor.** 

• • » * 

— “ il mondo ignora 
S' ella pill d’ oro o piii di sangue ha setc. 

Percho sail costci dalle profondo 
Vi»ccro della terra al Campidoglio? 

Fu bclla e grande nelle sue prigioni.*’ 

NiccoHru ; Arnaldo da Breseia. 



246 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


as corrupt and odious; it subsists now as it did 
then—only things are worse—partly, because all 
that docs not improve must deteriorate; partly, 
that the uses and end of government are better 
understood, and abuses become more torturing and 
intolerable ; and partly, betause the checks and 
restraints which time and custom opposed to their 
tyranny arc now all s%vc])t away. 

The Pope and his jmclates, alone, arc invested 
with political, legislative, and administrative autho¬ 
rity, and constitute the State. From education and 
from system they arc rdespotic, and rcjtel every 
liberal notion, every social ]>rogrcss. The people 
pay and obey: all the offices, all the cmjdoyments, 
great and small, arc in the hands of the clergj-. 
From the Pope, to the lowest priestly magistrate, all 
live on the public revenues, whence springs a system 
of clients, w'hich existing principally in Rome, yet 
extends over the whole of the j)apal dominions, and 
creates a crowd of dependants devoted to the clergy. 
Corruption is the mainspring of the State, which 
rests on the cupidity which the absence of all 
incentive to, or comi)cnsation for, honest labour 
inspires: yet nearly all arc poor, and poorest is the 
Head of the whole; who, shrinking from all improve¬ 
ment, fearful if the closed valves were opened, he 
should admit in one rushing stream, with industry 



AND ITALY. 


247 


and knowledge, rebellion, yet finds that the fresh 
burthens which his necessities cause him to impose 
on the people fail to increase his revenue. 

The Romans, themselves, submit without repining, 
their state has existed, such as it is, for centuries; 
the abode of the Pope and concourse of strangers 
enrich — the Church ceremonies amuse them. 
But out of Rome the cry has been loud, and will be 
repeated again and again. The HI arches bordering 
the Adriatic, Romagna and tlic four legations, (foiw 
cities, each governed by a Cardinal legate), suffer 
evils comparatively new to them; and the memory 
of better days incites them to endeavour to recover 
tbeir former independence. These states formed, it 
is true, ajiortioii of the pontifical dominions before 
the French revolution ; but they existed then on a 
different footing, and enjoyed jirivilegcs of which 
they are now deprived. Bologna in especial con¬ 
siders herself aggrieved. 

During the reign of Pope Nicholas V., driven 
by the political necessities of the times, Bologna 
placed itself under the protection of the papal 
government. The city engaged to pay an annual 
tribute, and to acknowledge the sovereignty of the 
PontifiF, while he, on the other hand, guaranteed its 
independence, and a representative senate to rule the 
state. Such was its position tiU the French invasion 



248 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


of 1796. The Congress of Vienna, in 1814, among 
its other misdeeds, made over tlic four legations to 
the Pope. They became a part of the patrimony of 
St. Peter; their municipal rights were abolished, 
and, central^ to every stipulation, they were reduced 
to the sara'“. condition as the ancient subjects of 
the Pope. At first the Pontiffs thought it necessary 
to take some steps to reconcile them to the loss 
of their ancient privileges. They promised them 
laws in accordance with the improved notions of the 
times; and that the code of Napoleon should con¬ 
tinue in force. These promises ucrc never fulfilled, 

I' 

and a farrago of laws was imposed imjmssiblc to be 
understood, and for ever changing; as each new 
Pope, supported by his iufalhbility, makes new ones 
at pleasure, while the corrupt mode in which they arc 
administered increases the vexation of the people. A 
diminution of their buithens was also promised, but 
they continued as high as ever, without those attend¬ 
ant circumstances, that, in the time of the French, 
compensated for heav 7 taxations. Money was then 
spent in constructing roads and other useful public 
works; now the whole treasure is employed to pen¬ 
sion the clergy, and to support in splendour the 
state and luxury of the Cardinals. 



AND ITALY. 


249 


LETTER XXL 

JnflurrectioD of 1H31.—Occupation tif Ancona by the French. 

If a revolutionary spark is lighted up any where 
in Europe, the five bursts forth in Italy. The mis- 
goverument above incntioiKd is the cause that 
latterly Romagna has been the centre of these in¬ 
surrectionary movements, but there has never been 
sufficient • union or strength to secure success. 
When the French revolution of 1830 occurred, the 
surviving Carbonari and the heads of other secret 
societies believed that the moment was j)ropitious to 
their designs. The government of Louis-l*hilippe, 
desirous of drawing away from France the storm 
that brooded over her from Russia and Austria, 
excited two unfortunate enslaved countries, Poland 
and Italy, to rebel. It proclaimed the ])rinci{tle 
of non-intervention. Marshal Suult exclaimed in 
the Chamber of Peers:—“ The principle of non¬ 
intervention shall henceforth be ours; but on con¬ 
dition that it shall be respected by others," These 
M 3 



250 


EAHBLES IN OEEMANY 


solemn declarations satisfied the Italian conspirators. 
Central Italy, that is, the northern pontifical states 
in chief, with the duchy of Modena, \ras to be the 
focus of their movement, and the chiefs bebeved 
that they would be strong enough, at least in Ro¬ 
magna, to cope with the armies of their sovereign, 
if Austria were not permitted to pour its tens of 
thousands beyond the boundaries of Lombardy. 

I have asked Italians for some account of the 
troubles of those times. “ I fear,” was the reply, 
“ that it will be difiicult to tell any thing worthy to 
be recorded. Horrible .disasters, acts of incredible 
bravery, admirable instances of self-devotion, were 
found side by side with atrocious crimes; but all so 
scattered and individual, that it is scarcely possible 
to group the events together so as to form a 
narrative.” 

Discontent, particularly among the upper classes, 
was general all over Italy; yet few were willing to 
risk life and fortune for a cause of which they 
despaired. The actual revolt was therefore confined 
to the heads of the secret societies—^many of them 
in exile, and a few thousand young men. The want 
of talent in some, and of honesty in others among 
the leaders, led to every disaster. They roused and 
gathered together bands of ardent youths, holding 
out to them false hopes of a judicious and well- 



AND ITALY. 


251 


regulated insurrection, aided by the power of France. 
Five thousand lads, chiefly of good birth, taken 
from their boyish studies, witbdi'awn from the ca^ 
resses of their inothers, from the pleasures of their 
homes, M’ithoiit exj)ericnce, without forethought, 
who had reached tlic threshold of life— 

rash and nuiiaight, embarked on the difficult and 
dangerous path of revolt. Their only tie in com¬ 
mon vvas the desire of driving the stranger from 
their country. Tliey had none to counsel, none 
to encourage, none to lead; they cntnistcd the 
conduct of their aiti'injit y> n’" i who, either from 
timidity or Ir'airhery, hung back when they oiigiii 
to have shewn boldness, and neutralised the small 
jiower Ilf lurijvessam vtliich ihe.y possessed. They 
were eoiifronted by a hundred thousand Imperialists, 
veteran soldiers, sn])|)orted hy all the material of war. 
The result was such as might have been expe.ctcd. 
As soon as Louis-Philippe felt secure on his throne, 
he was eager to see an end jmt to the eomrnutions 
excited by the revolution of thirty. He deserted the 
Italian cause. The leaders had no boldness, no mili¬ 
tary skill—the youths whom they commanded showed 
bravery, but were too inefficient, few, and ill-armed, 
to cope with a large, disciphned, and veteran army. 
The end was defeat and surrender; then came the 
violation of treaties, death, and exile. It would 



252 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


strike with pity the eoldest heart to draw but a 
slight sketeh of the various misery that befel indi¬ 
viduals. Many a domestic drama of harrowing 
tragic interest convulsed families, deprived of their 
noblest offspring; and whether the bereaved parents 
were base chougb to disclaim and cast them forth, 
or whether they mourned in bitteniess over their 
fate, the misery was the same. It is not yet ended: 
England and France still swann with unfortunate 
exiles—the better portion of the insurgents, who 
sigh to rctuim to their country, but who will not in 
hardship and banishmcnl^, make those sacrifices of 
principle which would at once restore them to rank 
and wealth. 

The occupation of Ancona by the French is an 
event quite distinct from the insurrection of Ro¬ 
magna, though our vague recollections confuse 
them together. Abandoned by the French, hemmed 
ill by an Austrian army, the insurgents had sur¬ 
rendered, and the pontifical flag again waved over 
the citadel of Ancona. Still Romagna was full of 
commotions, occasioned by their desire for some 
amelioration of the laws. The five Powers of 
Europe interfered to prevail on the Pope to yield in 
some degree to the desires of his subjects. His 
answer was an edict that overthrew all hope, and 
confirmed the worst abuses—^the superiority of the 



AND ITALY. 


253 


ecclesiastical courts over the civil, the minor pu¬ 
nishments for the clergy compared with the laity, 
and the continuation of the Inquisition. To enforce 
these edicts the Pope, helped by Austria, transacted 
a loan, and declared his intention of sending troops 
to occupy the four legations. 

The account of this military occupation is one 
of the most frightful passages of modem history. 
The j)apal regiments were recruited finm the prisons, 
and formed of bauds of San Ftnlisti—the name of 
troops half brigands, half soldiers, formed by the 
priests in opposition to the.C.'. bonari, whose fright¬ 
ful history you may find in the pages of Col(!tta. 
This soldiery committed every excess : whether they 
met with rc.sistance, or, hoping to disarm their fero¬ 
city, they were welcomed in the towns as friends, 
the result w'as the same—outrage, rapine, massacre. 
The spirit of the people was roused, and Cardinal 
Albani’s army, stained by multiplied acts of barba¬ 
rity, no longer sufficed for the mastery of the whole 
of Romagna. Succour was requested from Austria, 
and promptly afforded. Six thousand Austrians, 
dragging w’ith them the five thousand brigands 
rather than troops, under the pay of the Head of 
the CathoUc Church, entered Bologna a second time. 
The severest discipline was enjoined to the German 
soldiers, and strictly observed. Prince Mettemich 



254 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


was praised for his interference; the result showfcd 
his secret intentions. The Italian populace compared 
the discipline and moderation of the Germans with 
the recent excesses*of the papal' soldiery, and it 
was hoped that an impression would be made of the 
preference, that ought to be given to the Austrian 
over the pontifical sway, which hereafter might serve 
the fonner in good stead. 

When the Pope declared his intention of a mili¬ 
tary occupation of the discontented provinces, the 
five Powers, whose ambassadors had just been urging 
milder measures, with ope exception only, approved. 
England, represented by Sir George Seymour, ex¬ 
pressed dissent, and her minister withdrew from the 
councils of the other diplomatic agents. On the 
other hand, France expressed her approbation in 
emphatic terms. The second occupation of Bologna 
by the Austrians, and the dexterity shown by Prince 
Mettcrnich, however, made a deep impression on 
Casimir Perrier, then Minister for Foreign Affairs. 
This was a step in advance made by the Austrian 
under cover of friendship; but if Romagna was to be 
lost to the Pope, he saw no reason why the French 
should not divide the spoil, and he suddenly resolved 
to occupy Ancona. A ship and two frigates received 
orders to sail for that city, and carry thither eleven 
hundred men, under the command of a naval 



AND ITALY. 


255 


captain Gallois, and of Colonel Combes. General 
Cubieres was named eommander-in-ebief of the expe-, 
dition. He set out for Rome, by way of Leghorn, for 
the purpose of communicating \irtth the Pope with re¬ 
gard to this seizure of one of his principal cities. The 
French government calculated that GenAyd Cubicn» 
would have time to sec the Pope, and obtain his 
consent, and reach Ancona before Captain Gallois 
and Colonel Combes could arrive; but contrary 
winds delayed Cubieres, while on the other hand, 
the little French fleet doubled the coasts of Italy 
with an exjiedition that epuiu not be foreseen, and 
which indeed (xcited general surprise; so that when 
Cubieres arrived at Rome he found the French 
ambassador in a violent rage; the tidings of the 
occupation of Ancona having reached Rome a few 
hours before; the PontiflT also was inexpressibly 
indignant. 

Ancona was taken in the night of the 22-23d 
February, 1832. On their arrival. Colonel Combes 
and Captain Gallois did not find Cubieres. He held 
the instructions of government, without which, 
strictly speaking, they could not commence the 
attack. They did not, however, hesitate to assume 
the responsibility of the assault—a resolution which 
they regarded due to the honomr of their flag. The 
fleet cast anchor three miles distant from the city. 



256 


B.AMBI.ES IN GERMANY 


A portion of the French soldiers disembarked with- 
, out impediment^ and in a short time, by a hurried 
march, they arrived under the walls. The gates 
were closed; the papal troops would not open them. 
The sappers of the 6Gth regt. broke one open with 
furious blmls of the axe, and were aided in the work 
by some of the populace. The French dispersed 
themselves quickly in the city, disarming the posts. 
Colonel liaszariui was made prisoner in his bed 
before he awoke; and thus, by a cov.p-de-main, the 
Fi-ench possessed themselves of the city. At day¬ 
break the rest of the ^^roops were disembarked. 
Colonel Combes, at the head of a battalion, marched 
against the citadel. The pontifical troops, frightened, 
yielded immediately; the French were received as 
friends into the fortress, and the tri-colomed Hag was 
hoisted. The people of Ancona co-ojicrated actively 
with the French, and not a drop of blood was shed; 
the inhabitants looked on the occupation as the 
beginning of liberty, and rejoicing and gladness 
every'where prevailed. The Italian tricolor fioated 
ill all the streets, and over every square. The 
French raised the cry of Vive la liherte! which was 
responded to by the Italians with tumults of joy. 
The governor of the province and the commandant 
of the piazza were made prisoners, but afterwards 
set at liberty; they left Ancona. The state prisons 



AND ITALY. 


257 


were thrown open, and several ehiefs of the insur¬ 
gents liberated. The city was that night illuminated, 
and the tlieatres resounded with patriotic songs. A 
staff officer got upon a heiich intone of the imncipal 
cafes, and braudi.shing a naked sword, declared that 
the regiment occujiyiiig Ancona was merely a van¬ 
guard, which announced the liberty of Italy. 

All Europe was astonished by this event. Aus¬ 
tria, in its first movement of surprise, demanded 
categorical explanations; at the same time that 
the general of the Austrian troops stationed at 
Bologna, published a pro^hunation, in w'hich he 
declared that the French had occupied Ancona 
through the same motives, and for the same ends, 
which had guided the Austrians in Romagna. The 
Pope gave immediate orders that his troops should 
retire from Ancona, and that the provincial govern¬ 
ment should be removed to Osimo; but this anger 
on the part of the Vatican was of short duration; it 
listened to the declarations and protestations of the 
French government, which had in truth no notion 
of favouring Italian liberty, but intended simply to 
check Austria, or at least obtain a part of the spoils, 
if the Pope lost Romagna. Sad were the conditions 
upon which the French were permitted to prolong 
their sojourn at Ancona. The part they filled after¬ 
wards redounded to their shame in the eyes of the 



258 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

Italians. They averred that the Trench soldiers, 
until the evacuation, only served as sbirri of the 
.papal power. And while the government of France 
held language openly that made Europe believe 
that Ancona, while in their possession, was a place 
of refuge fjr the liberals, it by its acts proved to 
the various cabinets, that its views were in unison 
with those of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. A few 
years ago Ancona was made over again to the Pon- 
tilf, the French saving their credit by having the re¬ 
putation of obtaining in exchange the pardon of some 
of the exiles of I.iombardy; which, in fact, Austria 
only wanted a pretext and a fair occasion to grant. 

At j)rcscnt the spirit of revolt is checked, but not 
quelled in the jrontifical states. A volcanic fire 
smoulders near the surface, ready at every moment 
to burst forth in a flame. The whole of the country 
before disturbed, the Marches, Romagna, the four 
legations, together vv-ith the population of the 
mountains, arc bound together by secret a.ssocia- 
tions, and wait impatiently for the favourable mo¬ 
ment when to break their chains. These secret 
societies, unfortunately, are bad means for seeking a 
good result; and it is to be feared that the country 
will never attain a high moral tone and a true feel¬ 
ing of independence, till the means used by their 
leaders ore changed. ■ 



AND ITALY. 


259 


Secret associations ought to be particularly 
eschewed by the Italians, as tending to foster their 
principal defect—their cunning. The violence of. 
their passions, wliieh they arc so little taught to 
control, is the source of much crime and unhappi¬ 
ness j but under better laws they would be checked. 
The cowardice of which they are accused, I regard 
as a mistake: mingled with other sohlicrs the 
Italians arc as brave as they—it is the want of 
leaders which has occasioned this low estimation of 
their courage. No tioo])s will hold together who 
have not conlidencc in thfir generals. In all in¬ 
stances of their dtfeat it seems evident that their 
disasters were not occasioned by cowardice in the 
soldiers, but absence of military skill among those 
in command. 

The habit of deception is the wor.st fault of the 
Italians; accustomed to look on the dark side of 
human nature and to disbelieve in its virtues, they 
are ever awake to ward otf covert injury by astute¬ 
ness ; while the purer virtues, stainless honour and 
unspotted truth, belong to few (yet to a few they do 
belong), among them. 

The evil has been fostered by the bad use to which 
the confessional has been put during troubled times; * 

Ncllc chicse*— 

1 piU astuti del clero a udir eon poati. 



260 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

by the institution of a secret police by the govern¬ 
ments, and by the spread of secret societies. For 
.what is held mysterious, concealed by oaths, and car¬ 
ried on in the dark^ must use falsehood as a shield, 
and terror as a weapon. 

Little g«Jod, I am afraid, has been operated by 
these associations on the character of the people; 
and the real interests of the country must result 
from the improvement of the moral sense. Mean- 
whde, they occasion frequent and partial insurrec¬ 
tions, that keep the sovereigns in alarm, but do not 
advance their cause. It canuot be expected that 
Italy should be able to liberate itself in a time of 
lethargic peace like the present. And the attempts 
of the few who, fiom time to time, are diivcn by 
indignation and shame to take up arms, are but 
the occasion of tears and grief. They form a band 
of hidden and obsemo victims, which each year 
that power devours that holds them in slavery. It 
may even be doubted whether an Emopcan com¬ 
motion would give an occasion favourable to Italy. 

Gli altrut peccati, e li sommesac, arcane 
Parole mormorate ai pi'oni oivcchi 
Souo alia nostra liberta fatuH. 

Pcrche nuda o tremante al lor corpetto 
Ogni alma e tratta dalle sue lattcbrci 
£ ossuluto non e cbi si confess 
Se gU altri non accusa,’* 

Kiocolini f Arnaldo da Brescia. 



AND ITALY. 


261 


We must not forget that the people are demoralised 
and degenerate. The present affords no glimmer¬ 
ing light by which we may perceive how the. 
regeneration of Italy will be effected. It is one of 
the secrets of futurity at w'hich it is vain to guess. 
Yet the hour must and \vill come. Foe there arc 
noble spirits who live only in this hope; and every 
man of courage and genius throughout the country 
—and several such exist—consecrates his moral and 
intellectual faculties to this end only. 



262 


EAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER XXII. 

Sorrento.—Capri.—Pompeii. 

Sorrento, June 1, 

It seems to me as if I had never before visited 
Italy—as if now, for the lu’st time, the eharm of 
the country was' revealed to me. At every mo¬ 
ment the senses, lapped in delight, whisper—^this is 
Paradise. Here I find the secret of Italian poetry: 
not of Dante; he belonged to Etruria and Cisalpine 
Gaul: Tuscany and Lombardy arc beautiful—they 
are an improved France, an abundant, sunshiny 
England—but here only do we find another earth 
and sky. Here the poets of Italy tasted the sweets 
of .those enchanted gardens which they describe in 
their poems—and we wonder at their bright imagi¬ 
nations; but they drew only from reality—the reahty 
of Sorrento. Call to mind those stanzas of Tasso, 
those passages of Berni and Ariosto, which have 
most vividly transported you into gardens of delight, 
and in them you will find the best description of 
the charms of this spot. I had visited Naples before. 



AND ITALY. 


263 


but that was in winter—and beautiful as I thought 
it, I (lid not then guess what this land is in all the 
glory of its summer dress. 

Here is the house in whieh Tasso was born—what 
wonder that the gardens of Anaida convey to the mind 
the feeling that the poet had been carried away by 
enchantment to an Elysium, whose balmy atmo¬ 
sphere hung about him, and he wrote under its in¬ 
fluence.—So indeed was it—here is the radiance, here 
the delights which he describes—^here he passed his 
childhood; the fragrance of these bowers, the glory 
of this sky, haunted him in the dark cell of the 
convent of St. Anna. 

I know not whether I should prefer the view of 
the bay which his house (now occupied as an 
hotel) commands, to our OAvn from the Cocumella— 
the scene from his windows is certainly completer; 
situated more in the bend of the bay, turned north¬ 
wards towards Vesuvius, he looked upon a circle 
of mountain crags, embracing the sea; our view is 
more turned to the west—it is less picturesque— 
perhaps more sublime. 

The portion of the bay that belongs to Sorrento 
is singularly formed. Eor the most part steep 
cliffs rise from the water, with here and there a 
break, where there intervenes a short space of sands, 
hedged round by cliffs. The cUffs are perforated 



264 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


with caverns, some open to the air, and clothed with 
luxuriant vegetation; others scooped deep in the 
face of the rock. Many of them have been enlarged, 
and openings made for ventilation, and passages cut 
down to the sands, and up to the gardens above. 
Every house almost has one of these calate or 
descents, down from the heights above to the beaeh; 
some cut in the face of the cliffs—corkscrew galle¬ 
ries—some communicating with the caverns; most 
of them are walled up to prevent smuggling. I 
believe when the family to whom the house belongs 
resides on the spot, at their request the calata be¬ 
longing to them is opened. One of the royal family 
had been staying at or near the Cocumella; the pas¬ 
sage was opened for their convenience, and the keys 
were left at our inh; so w'e had full command of the 
descent from the garden of our house. Our calata 
is considered one of the best; it opens into a huge 
double cavern, which tradition or imagination has 
appropriated to Polyphemus. It is large enough 
for him and his flock, and within is an inner cave, 
where the giant-shepherd stored his cheeses, and 
against whose rough surface the luckless voyagers 
clung, hoping to escape: the rock he flung to sink 
the vessel of Ulysses still lies a furlong from the 
mouth of the cavern. In the morning nothing can 
be cooler than the sands shaded by the cliff; later 



AND ITALY. 


265 


in the day the sun descending to set behind Ischia, 
strikes on the rocks and beach, and they become 
burningly hot. 

r- has got a nice saijing-boat over from 

Naples ; too small, but still a wonderfully safe, good 
boat, considering its size, and we have, a viarhiaro 
also fi'om Naples, to whom it belongs; he takes 
care of it all day, and sleeps in it at night. He is a 
youug fellow, and certaiuly never shows any signs 
of timidity, but considers his little skiff charmed 
from danger within the bay; beyond, the seas are far 

heavier; his father lui tirnore and will not let 

• 

him venture. lie tries to ])ersuadc us to go with 
him to Ischia and Ca])ri. 1 am shy of this—the 

boat is s(> small; but 1’- and his friend often 

sail some miles trom shore, ^bd run down t.j) 
Castciaujfu'e; and on calm days 1 go on cx])loring 
expeditions into the frequent and strange caves ol‘ 
the coast, or stretch across to the Temple of Nep¬ 
tune, and roam about the ruin-strewed shore. These 
caverns are mysterious recesses, which the fancy is 
excited to peojde with a thousand fairy tales. As I 
have .said, some are like ours of the Cocumella, 
scooj)ed out in the face of the rock—others, narrow 
clefts in the rock, open to the sky. Into the 
strangest you enter by naiTOw passages, just large 
enough to let the boat pass; they are covered at top, 

VOL. IX. N 



20ft RAMBLES IN fiEKMAXV 

and paved by the waves, which ])lay ilickering with 
a tunpioisc tint quite pccidiar and very beautiful.* 
The plain of Sorrento, which is sj)rcad on tlie 
tojj of the cliffs that overlook the sea, is shut 
in all round by a belt of hills—intersected here 
and there liy narrow ravines—clefts, as it were, in 
tli(! soil, thickly clothed with various trees and 
underwood. The plain itself is planted with orange 
trees. These gardens being shut in by high walls, 
the walks near us are not at all agreeable; there¬ 
fore, when we leave our terrace, and our beach, and 
our cavern, it is in a boat or on mules—the rides 
are delightfid. To Caja) del IMonte, which those 
who live nearer to Sorreuto than (mrselves can reach 
by a walk, and therefore to live nearer has advan¬ 
tages—but 1 like ^ir greater retirement better; or 
to the Cahnaldoli, or to the Conti delle Fontanellc, 
a height whence we command a view of the G\df 
of Salerno, the rocks of the Syrens, and the long 
line of coast that runs southward, on which IVstum 
i.s situated; and of Caju-i ri.siug abrujit and dark. 

I can only couqiare the difference between these 
enchanting scenes and those of other countries 

• Mrs. Starlii' lived fur aotuc years at tlir f’orumella, at Sorrento, 
tier account of the place and scenery around, is hoth ao urate and well 
written, ami for this part of Italy she is ati e.\ccllent jruidc. Jlr. 
Cooper, the author of “ The Spy," has written very attreeablc “ Kacur- 
siona in Italy the taosi interesting portion of which regards SoiTento. 



AND ITAI.Y. 


267 


which have heretofore delighted me, bj' saying, that 
in all others it was like seeing a lovely countenance^ 
behind a dusky veil; here the veil is withdrawn, and 
the senses ache with the cfl'uigent beauty which is 
revealed. 

Jl'nk 3. 

To-day we visited Ca])ri. Tlu; winds here arc so 
regular, that with the exee])tion of a scirocco which 
will soinetiiiies inteiTene, you know <-xaetly in sum¬ 
mer-time <»!i what you may de[)end. At noon the 
I’oneiilc rises—a west wind, brisk and fresh, which 
erisj>s the sea into sparkling waves, that dance, 
beneath the sun. This wind goes on increasing till 
about fivi* or six in the afternoon, and then dies 
away ; at about nine or ten an air comes off from 
Vesuvius—a land-wind, in facf—which lasts till 
morning. Tims to go to Capri, it was necessary to 
set out early to profit by this breeze, which wafted us 
southward to the island. 1 do not know anything 
more striking than the manner in which, as we 
stretch out from our bay, the island of Capri, with 
its two peaks and becthng cliffs, rises upon us. 
As we ran down towards it, headland after headland 
ojtened, and disclosctd the bays between. In two 
hours we nwhed the island, and ran into the little 
bay in which the town of Capri is situated. M'e 
then transferred ourselves to two small boats, for 
N 2 



268 


RAMBLES IN GERMANi' 


the purpose of visiting the Grotto Azzurro. We 
were rowed under the high, dark, bare, perpendi¬ 
cular cliffs, and with anxious curiosity I looked for 
the opening to the grotto. Tlie mountains gi’ew 
higher, the precipices more abrupt and black, as we 
vowed slowly in the deep calm water beneath their 
shadow. At length we came to a small opening; it 
was necessary to sit at the bottom of the boat, as it 
sliot through the narrow, low, covered entrance; 
within, th(! strangc.st sight is revealed: we entered a 
large cavern, formed by the sea ; the hue resembles 
that which 1 incntionctl as belonging to the caves 
of the Sorrentine coast; only here it is brighter—a 
turquoise, milky, iicllucid, living azure. The white 
roof and walls of the cave reflect the tints, and the 
slnnnnering motion'of the waves being also mirrored 
on the rock, tin- effect is more faiiy-like and strange 
than can be concciv(‘d. This cave was discovm’cd by 
two Englishmen, who went to swim under the cliffs, 
and penetrated by chance its narrow ojaming. It 
deserves the renown it has gained. 1 cannot explain 
from what effect of the laws of light this singular 
and beautiful hue j)roeeeds. I’artly it is the natural 
azure of the waves of this bright sea, which, enter¬ 
ing, reflects the snow-white cavern, and is turned as 
it were into transparent milk; another cause may 
be, that the walls of the cavern do not reach deeper 



AND ITALY. 


269 


than the surface of the water; they j ust touch it— 
and the sea flows beneath. The water is icy cold, 
and the adventure would be perilous; but a frocul 
swinnncr might be excited to dive beneath t'le 
paving water, strike out under the cave, and s(!ek for 
wonders beyond. 

After lingering some time in this favourite grotto 
of the Neieids, which they have, since tin; creation 
till the jircsent tinu;, kejit sacnal from our inti-usion, 
we returned to ('apri, and hired donkeys for our 
ascent to the palace of Tiberius, which is situated on 
the summit of one of tlv.'- mountain-jieaks of the 
island. We had several guides; the woman that 
accompanied me attracted me by her extreme, 
beauty. She had th.at noble contour of countenance, 
that I so particulariy admire ; a beauty at once full 
of dignity and expression. The sun Innait bright 
above, and tln^ way was fatiguing. AVe elarnbcrtid 
uj) through vineyards that clothe the mountains’ 
sides, and jmdere, or small farms, sown with grain, 
and prolific in the huge prickly pear, which grow as 
giants. ATc reached at last the remains of the 
palace of Tiberius; a part of the walls and many por¬ 
tions of mosaic pavement remain, as well as the, relics 
of a way down to the sea, of very solid yet elaborate 
workmanship. The view from the summit, where 
a portion of the ruins has been turned into a little 



270 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


church, is more grand than anything I ever saw. 
.The Bay of Naples on one side; that of Salerno on 
the other; with the coast on which I’aistum is situ¬ 
ated, bounding the Eastern horizon. There is a 
peculiarity in the way in which tlic steep piumon- 
t«)ries of thf! southern Italian coast abut into the 
sea, and iu the hues of ocean, as it embraces the 
rocky shores, which those who have not visited 
the South cannot conceive; which 1 never saw till I 
came here, but which satisfies the mind that this is 
beauty; that here, God has let fall upon earth the 
mantle of glojy which (jtherwise is gathered up 
among the angels! 

We had brought provisions with us, and dined on 
the sort of platform at the summit; and here, in one 
of the ruined chambers, where the mosaic pavement 
i.s entire, the peasants danced the Tarantella. On 
maiidaud, this dance is forbidden, at least, for the 
two sexes to dance it together;—^wdiy, I cannot 
gness: as far as we saw, it is more decent than the 
waltz. The couples set and turn round each other, 
but without touching even each other’s hands, for 
these are occupied by the castanets. Two or three 
of the women were handsome; but none so attractive 
as the w'oman who was my guide. 

As we descended, I talked to her. The wretched 
lot of these j)oor people is very sad. In England 



AND ITALY. 


271 


wc see and read of the squalid condition of the poor; 
and when it is contrasted udth the luxuiy of the, 
rich, wc feel deeply, “ That there is something rottwi 
in the state.” But while wt are aware that o r 
climate fearfully increases the sufferings of the poor, 
wc know that to keep out cold and huitger is costly, 
and the suffering docs not appear so causeless and 
arbitrary as in this fairy island; here, whei’c the 
sun in all his splendour kisses earth, which, well 
cultivated and fertile, yields ])lcnty; and where, 
moreover, the sea is abundant in fish; the heart 
rebels yet more vehcmeptly against the hungry 
jiovcrty of the hard-working ])easants. Fish and 
meat they never touch: all that is caught of the^ 
former is fak( 11 to Naples. Maccaroni they get on 
festivals: at other times, they live on vegetables— 
nothing so wholesome as the jiotato—the prickly 
pear chiefly. The better off among them indulge 
now and then in jmlenta, the flour of Indian corn 
made into porridge. Tlicy have no milk ; weak 
sour wine, or water, is their drink. One result of 
this bad fare is the mortality among the children. 
My Juno-looking guide had had four children : one 
only survived. Poor little fellow! he ran beside his 
mother; and she looked on him with anxious fond¬ 
ness, for his complexion and figure all spoke 
disease. 



272 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

To suffer is a different thing under this sky. 
They have bad food, they work hard; but Natm-e is 
their friend; they are not pinched with cold nor 
racked by rheumatic pains. Thus my poor woman, 
in whoiii 1 gi'cw interested, had nothing morose— 
scarcely anybliing plaintive—^about hcz*. “ Sono sem- 
pre alkgra” she said. “ I am gay—we ought to 
be gay.” “Siamo come Dio vnole," “We live as 
God ])leases, and must not complain. My heart 
aches when I remember my poor children noiv in 
Paradise; I cry when I think of them; and that 
little fellow,” and she cpst an anxious, maternal 
glance on him—“he is not well” (heaven knows,he 
was not). “Ma, allegro, Signora” —“the Vu'gin 
will help us;” and she began, in a sweet voice, to 
sing a ])laintive hymn to the Virgin. Poor jzcople! 
their religion is hung round with falsehood; but it 
is a great, a real comfort, to them. Sickness and 
all evil comes from God, and must be borne, there¬ 
fore, with patience; and the great duty is to be 
gay under all, and to sene God with a cheerful, 
as well as a pure, heart. I should have liked 
to have tried, at least, to have done some real good 
to this woman, whose countenance, and voice, and 
conversation, gave her distinction. Nothing could 
be more simple and unpretending than her talk; 
but it had a stamp of heart, joined to that 



ANI> ITALY. 273 

touch of the imaginative, peculiar to the Italian 
peasantry. . 

English tourists get very angry at the pcrjietual 
demands made on their pursfis during their exct.r- 
siou.s. “ Dammi qitakhe co’,” salutes our ear too 
often. But, ])oor j)eople, who can wontlcr! J have 
told yon how they fare. At Sorrento oranges are 
the staple of the place—that and hewn stones; the 
j)oor man who has a nnde considers himself com|)a- 
ratively well off; he and his nmle earryiiig oranges 
and stones, sup])ort his I'aniily. They often work 
all night, lading the boats going to Najiles with 
oranges, and by day they labour at the (|uarri(^s. 
The nobles df* not reside on their estates, and there is , 
no help for tJie [loor; there are many convents, bnt 
none, among them are charitalily disposed, so that, 
excejit the archbishop, there is not a single indi¬ 
vidual or community that turns a pitying eye on the 
ill-paid, over-worked labourers of the soil; while the 
abundant riches that flow from this soil and from tlicir 
ceaseless industry, are drained away to Naiiles. The 
people are jiartienlarly handsome; even the old ari' 
good-looking: they say there is something in the 
soil and air particularly good for health and come¬ 
liness. I have seen no ha/js. Old women, with 
happy-looking faces, graced by the placid jiie- 
turesque beauty of age, sit at their doors spinning. 

N 3 



274 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


No one can talk to them without perceiving latent, 
.under ignorance and superstition, great natural 
abilities, and that heartfelt ])icty which springs (as 
our higher virtues do*) from the imagination which 
warms and colours their faith. Poor people! how 1 
long for a fairy wand wdiich W'ould make them pro¬ 
prietors of the earth w'hich they till, but must not 
reap. Ilow sad a thing is human society: yet it is 
comforting, even where ive find the laws by which it 
is said to be held together—but which ought rather 
to be likened to an iron yoke, pressing it dmvn and 
deyiriving it of its native.strength and elasticity— 
yet, I say, it warms my heart when 1 find the indi- 
. viduals that comyiosc a pojmlation, j)oor, humble, 
ignorant, misguided, yet endowed with some of the 
brightest gifts of our nature, and bearing in their 
faces the stamp of intelligence and feeling. I never 
lived among a peojilc 1 liked so well as these Sorren- 
tines. 1 hope I am not deceived; but Mr. Cooper, 
who sojourned here a few mouths, and Mrs. Starke, 
who lived here for years, evidently regard them with 
more liking and esteem than the poorer classes 
usually inspire. 


JONB 15tb. 

Our way of life is regular enough, as in hot 
countries it always must be. The mornings are 



AND IT.VLY. 


cool and pleasant : my bed-room window, with a 
balcony, looks on the nortbeni mountains; and th^; 
tirst o])ening of my eyes is upon orange gardens, 
shadony groves, and green’ mountain-tops, wi h 
peeps of tbc sea between. At noon, when the sea- 
breeze rises, my friends sail; sometin<^-s, when the 
breeze is not too stijf, 1 join them, and we stretch 
out till the whole of Ca))ri opens on ns, \\'hen 1 
am not there they venture further, and they bathe; 
the sea is so inviting, that they spend an hour or 
two in the water. We dine (and our cook being 
good and the viands exeeVlent, tve dine well) at two. 
At four or Ib'e. we either betake ourselves to the 
boat, and cross the bay to (he Tem))le of Neptune,^ 
which is at ihe point of the first headland—or 
the mules come to the door, and we take various 
rides; or, if we at times repeat the same, its beauty 
always seems new. We are shut out from walks in 
tbc immediate vicinity—as to trudge between high 
stone walls is not jileasant; but in our excursions we 
find plenty of occasion to clamber up and down the 
steep mountain-paths. The hills are bright with 
the broom in full flower, and the myrtle begins to 
show its stars among its bright-pointed leaves. On 
the plains, which are often found near the summits 
of the hills—^tbe rocky crags rising higher round as 
a hedge and shelter, wheat is sown, and flouri.shes. 



276 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

One of our favourite rides is to the other side of the 
promontory, where a natural arch once stood, resem¬ 
bling the I’rcsbisch Thor of the Saxon Switzerland; 
it is now broken and" ruined. Once, going there, 
my friends tliought that they could easily reach the 
sands bciiea^n and bathe, or find a boat to take 
Ihem to the rocks of the Syrens; but after a rough 
))recij)itous descent of some length, they found the 
way grow on them : they were apparently as far off 
as ever from the sea, and they returned. 

1 spend the evenings on our teiTace. The nights 
hcri! are wondei-ful; and I am never weary of 
obsen-ing the loveliness of the skies. Twenty-four 
,o’clock, a moveable hour which is fixed for half an 
hour after sunset, never, in this climate, falls later 
than half-past eight. By that time it is night; 
but the extreme purity of the atmosjdierc gives to 
darkness a sort of brilliancy, such as a black shining 
object has. The sea is dark and bright at the same 
time; the high coast around does not assume that 
gigantic, misty apj)carance, hUls do in the North 
diming dusk, but they stand out as well defined as 
by day. If there be a moon, we see it floating in 
mid-air. We perceive at once that it is not a 
shining shape, jilastcrcd, as it were, against the sky ; 
but a ball which, all bright, or pai'tly dusky, hangs 
pendant. Its light is painfully bright; the ex- 



AND TTAI,\. 


277 


trcmc glittering whiteness fatigues the eye more 
than daylight. In the North, we often repine that 
we have not two moons, so always to <mjoy the n’se 
of our eyes in the absence of *thc sun; in the’ South, 
the intcrluuar nights are au agreeable change, at 
times almost a relief. .I5y the moonlight we can 
perceive the smoke ascend from the crater of Ve¬ 
suvius ; if she desert the niglit, a lambent llaine 
shoots lip at intervals. I may have wearied you by 
my various accounts of the evening hours which, 
to a lover of nature, are so enchanting. In other 
places a sense of tenderness, a softmiing intlnence, 
has fallen on my heart a' that time; but here, the 
gloiy of 'ibsolute immeasurable bitauty mantl(!s all* 
things at tdl limes. 


.IiiSK 20. 

- Yet not so. Lo! a scirocco comes to blot 

the scene. Nothing can be stranger than this 
scirocco: at its first breath, the sea grows dull, 
leaden, slate-coloured—all its trausjiarcncy is gone. 
The view of the opposite shore is hidden in mist. 
The near mountains wear a deeper green, but havi^ 
lost all brightness and cast wierd shadows on the 
dull waters. This wind coming from the south-east 
is with us a land wind. It rolls huge waves on the 
beach of Najilcs; but beneath our cliffs the sea 



278 RAMBtES IN GERMANY 

is calm—such a calm!—looks so treacherous, 
that even if you did not hear of the true state of 
things, you would hesitate to trust yourself to it. 
At a short distance ffom the shore the wind plays 
wild pranks ; here and there it seizes the water as a 
whii'lwind, aijH you see circles emerge from a centre, 

spread round and fade away. P-went out in 

his boat about a hundred yards from our cavern 
even there, though in appai’cnt calm, the skiff was 
whirled round, and nothing but lett ing go the sheet 
on the instant prevented her from being capsized. 

Tlic heat is excessive. , Every one appears to be 
seized with feverish illness: nobody wishes to eat 
.or move. The early setting and late rising of the 
sun in this high latitude, making the nights long, 
gives the earth and atmosphere time to cool; and 
it is thus that the heat of summer is often not so 
oppressive as in the North; otherwise it W'ould be 
intolerable. Imagine our Dresden length of day 
with a Nea])olitau temperature: no one could bear 
it and live. But our nights ai-e cool; our early 
mornings even chill, and thus nature is refreshed: 
only, this docs not occur during the periods of 
scirocco ; then, night and day, the heat lies hke a 
heavy garment round our limbs. Fortunately, three 
days is its utmost, one or two its usual, extent; it 
vanishes as it came, no one knows how. Nature 



AND ITALY. 


279 


and OUT human spirits come forth as after an 
eclipse; the world revived looks up and resumes 
its natural healthy appearance. 


.11’NK 23. 

We have visited Pompeii. A greater extent of the 
city has iieen dug out and laid open since 1 was there 
hefoj’Cj so that it has now much more the a])])earance 
of a town of the dead. You may ramble about and 
lose yourself in the many streets. Ibilw'er, too, has 
j)copled its silenc<!. 1 have been reading his book, 
and I have felt on visiting the ])lace nincli more, as 
if really it had been one - ‘ull of stirring life, imw 
that he lias attributed names and possessors to* 
its houses, passeiigiirs to its streets. Sueh is the 
power of tlu! imagination. It can not only give 
“a local habitation and a name” to the airy crea¬ 
tions of the fancy and the abstract ideas of the 
mind, but it can put a soul into stones, and hang 
the vivid interest of our passions and our hopes 
upon objects otherwise vacant of name or sympathy. 
Not indeed that Pompeii could be such, but the 
account of its " Last Days ” has ca.st over it a more 
famihar garb, and peopled its desert streets with 
associations that greatly add to their interest. 



280 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


LETTER XXIII. 

Excuntion to Amalii. 

JuLT IOtB. 

1 HAVE always had a great desire to penetrate 
into the south of Italy, which I believe to be the 
most beautiful country in the world; joining the 
rich as])ect of culture to the graces of nature, 

all her trildnera^ all her majcACy, 

As ill that elder time, ere man was made.^* 

If I were a man, I know of no cntcr|)rise that would 
please my imagination more than seeking, in this 
district, for the traces of lost wealth, science, and 
civilisation. These blessings flourished in this neigh¬ 
bourhood at two distinct ])criods, apparently widely 
separated from each other; yet, if examined, we might 
find that the link had never been broken. Magna 
Grecia was the mother of many philosophers, and 
the richest portion of ancient Italy; and there is 
nothing violent in the supposition, that Amalfi, 
hemmed in by momitnims, and Salerno, almost 


Rogers’s Italy. 



AND ITALY. 


281 


equally sheltered, should have presened and ex¬ 
tended, rather than orijrinated, the trade and science, 
which rendered them famous at a time when, all 
around, every eifort of human huteq)rise W'as mcrgi il 
in offensive and defensive wars. 

Amalli was the first republic of ntpdern Italy. 
As the ])owcr of the Roman Emiiire waxed weak, 
and the transplaiitiiifr of the scat of empire to 
Constantinople, placed Italy in the novel j)osition 
of a distant neglected jiriivinee, frequently invadial 
by barbarians, the fabric of national goviaainient fell 
to pieces, while municipal communities remained. 
Two of these, from their h ippy position on the 
sea, and the great traffic there carried on by means, 
of the Mediterranean, were eminently jtrosperous. 
Om in the north, Venice, acquired power, and pre- 
seiTcd its independence for centuries; the other in 
the south, Amalfi, was swallowed uji by the king¬ 
dom of Naples, after having been pillaged by the 
Pisans in 1137—for thus early did municipal rivalry, 
the banc of Italy, begin to divide and ravage the 
peninsula. It seems to me that sound knowledge 
of the results of political institutions might be 
gathered from studying the state of society in a 
town whose citizens were, when free, intelligent 
and coimagcous—whose maritime laws, instituted at 
a time (the ninth century) when Europe was sunk 



282 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


in barbarism, has served as a basis for every sub¬ 
sequent commercial code—who covered the sea with 
their ships—who almost discovered the mariner’s 
compass. What are they now ? 

Their intelligence, their capacities, 1 am sure 
remain; tlibir affections also must warm their 
hearts as kindly; must we not seek in their ]»oli- 
tical history for the causes wherefore superstition 
and vice have replaced ardour for science and the 
virtues of industrious and brave citizens ? 

Though I could not fulfil in any way a favourite 
design of visiting Calabria, yet we have crept on as 
far as Amalfi. It had been my idea to spend a 
month in this town, when I could have told you 
more of the present state of its inhabitants. I was 
not able to do this; so, can only mention the 
impression made by the visit of a day.* 


* Among modem historians Sismondi and Gibbon dwelt with 
pleasure on Uie commerce and pros])crity of Anialfi. It was an oasis 
where the mind of the historian reposed, fatigued by barbarous war^ 
and innumerable acts of cruelty. Gibbon quotes the description given 
by Gugliclnius Apulus— 

^ Nulla magis locuplee ai^cnto, vestihus, oro, 

Tontibus innuoicris; hac plurimus urbe moratur 
Nauta maris ca'Iique vias aperirc peritus. 

Hue et Alczandri divert feruntur ab urbe 
Regis, ct Antioclii. Quis hxc freta plurima transit. 

His Arabes, Indi, Siculi uascuntur et Afri. 

Hire ^ns est totum prope nobilitata {ter orbem 
Et morcando forenst et amans meicata referre.” 



AND ITALY. 


283 


We had secured a boat to be ready for us at the 
Marinclla^ on the other side of the jn’oiiioutory, and, 
set out ou iimles for tlie Scai’ieatojo, the name given 
to the descent from the mountain that overhangs the 
eastern sea. Wc reaeluid the height which we had 
often before visited, whence a view is cdpinvaiidcd of 
the tuo seas. To the west the Bay of Naples, land¬ 
locked, as w'e looked on it, by the islands of Ischia 
and Procida, and the ])roniontory of Misenum; while, 
more to the north, the shining edifices of the city of 
Naples arc distinctly visible, and ii^he dej)th of the 
bay, Vesuvius rises u|) immediately from the shore. 
On the other siih^, the eye i hmged down from the. 
height of the myrtle-clothed mountain on which we., 
stood, to the sea fai- below, gleaming at the foot of 
the precijiires —ve.\ing itself against the rocks of the 
Syrens: eastward, the coast that runs in a long line to 
the south; the lowlands on which Psestiim fs situated, 
with the back-ground of lofty mountains, was this 
day—as it almo.st always is—hidden in mist. 

The descent of the Scaricatojo is very steep, and 
long and fatiguing. At first we made light of it; 
but as wc went on under a burning sun, the path 
grew more craggy and precipitous: sometimes it 
was formed only of a rough sort of steps cut in the 
mountain-side, or constructed of shattered masses 
of rock; or of zigzags, which grew shorter, more 



284 


KAMBLES IN GERMANY 


numerous, more precipitous, and more slippery, till 
„wc despaired of ever reaching the beach. 

■ But all things human end; and at last — most 
agreeable change!—nT; were seated in a boat beneath 
the lofty inaccessible hills that rise almost sheer 
from the waiter, with here and there a little break, 
where a brief spaec of beach intervenes, and a town 
or village rises beside it. The voyage was not quite 
as jigrceable as it might have been, for there was a 
swell of the sea, and our little boat was dce])ly laden 
with people. were glad to sec Amalfi open on 
us. Salvator Rosa best, represents the peculiar 
beauty of the southern Italian coast; its steep pro- 
. montories, the varied breaks of its mountainous 
shores, all green with forest-trees, adorned by iso¬ 
lated luins, and clothed with a radiance which is 
the ])eculiar gift of the atmosphere of this clime; 
encircled 4)y the lucid transparency of the tide¬ 
less sea—for it was here that he often retreated, 
leading, stnne have said, a bandit’s life,* but most 
surely a lover and studicr of nature; his laud- 
scape.s ai’c so many exquisite views taken from this 
part of the country. Look at them, wherever you 
can, and learn in what its loveliness consists. The 
landing-place of the town is open, busy, and cheer¬ 
ful. There is a Capuchin convent most beautifully 


RogeiVa Italy. 



AND ITALY. 


285 


situated near tlio sea; it was secularised by the 
French, and long served for an hotel. The mother 

• 

of the present King of Na])lcs often visited Amalf\, 
and slept at this inn. The expelled monks gathcivd 
round her, and led her to consider it a matter of 
eouscience that they should be reinstated. She 
obtained this favom’ from her son before she died ; 
the C'a|)uchius are come back; and travellers are 
turned out from what may Ijc fairly named the most 
bcautifid imi in the world. The present house, 
however, is by no means bad, and overlooks the 
-Marina. AVe obtaiinTl good rooms and a ioliTablc 
dinner, being waited on by three sous of the host— 
handy little fellows, from ten to lil'tce)i, who per¬ 
formed their duties ])roinptly and (piietly. 

,Vs soon as we iiad rested and were refreshed, we 
wished, tlnmgh still much fatigued, to sec something 
of the ])lace. M'e visitiid the cathedral, an ancient 
edifice, built upon the site of a jiagan tcmjile, and 
rambled about the town, which is busy. Though 
fallen from the commt.'rcial prosperity it enjoyed 
twelve centuries ago, Amalfi carries on considerable 
traffic, and its citizens arc wt:ll to do. Tliere is a 
large manufacture of maccaroni, another of jiapcr, 
another for working the iron of Elba. Every one 
can find work, living is cheai), and want is happily 
unknown. 



286 


hambles in Germany 


The pajier-mills are picturesquely situated in a 
ravine, shut in by lofty mountains, beside a cascade; 
it was not so fw but that we might visit them 
during the evening. . Two donkeys were brought to 
carrj’ us thither. Accustomed to the excellent mules 
of Sori’cnto, we w'ere not jirepared for the poor little 
crcAtures, with things on their backs which it was 
ridiculous to call saddles. llowi;vcr, I and a young 
lady who accompanied me mounted. If you have 
th»; book, look at the. vignette to “ Italy” of Amalfi; 
you will perceive its situation, and how just behind 
the town the mountains are cloven and »bvided by a 
deep ravine—our way led uj) this naiTOW pass, down 
which sped a torrent, whose “ inland murnmr,^' or 
rather dashing, was grateful to our ears, long accus¬ 
tomed only to the roaring of the surges of the sea. 

Tne scene was wholly different from anything 
near Sorrento. The vsdley and the mountain-sides 
were beautifully gi-een and fresh—gi’assy uplands 
shone between groves of forest trees, and villages 
with their churches here and there peeped out—while 
the torrent dashed over the rocks, sj>arkling and 
foaming—and dressing its banks, which grew higher 
and more rocky as we ascended the pass, in luxu¬ 
riant and bright verdure. Our first visit was to a 
paper-mill, whence a view of the ravine is com¬ 
manded—and then we clambered up the bill-side to 



AND ITALT. 


287 


tiie road above. Golden evening gave a* refreshing 
coolness to the air, and pictiu’esquc shadows to the 
hills. It was a scene,—an hour,—when Naturp 
imparts a quick and living cpjoymeut akin to the 
transports of love and the ecstacy of music—it 
touches a chord whose vibration is happipcss. Faint 
from excessive weariness, yet with regret*! consented 
to return. Night with her stars gathered round us, 
and with much difficulty our poor little, stumbling 
annuals carried us back to the town. 

This same evening we. wished to prej)arc for our 
excursion on the morrow; the plan of which wa.s 
to visit liavello, and then ^o descend the mountain 
to the sea-shorc—take boat, and sail to Salerno, and 
after dinner ?o drive back to Sorrento. 

Our evening’!, experience showed that the pmu 
little asses were, not fit for such an expcdition-i-wc- 
must have recourse, to the other alternative, portaii- 
fini, —arm-chairs ])laced on ])ol(!.s, borne by two 
men; we required three, for the three ladies of the 
I)arty. 1’- , and his friend, were to walk. 

We were told - but, remember, 1 consider 

all that we heard as very problematical as regards 
truth—^we had no time to learn the real state of 
things, and I relate the story more to show the sort 
of wild excuse's the Italians make when they want 
to carry a point profitable to themselves—losing to 



288 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


US. We Were told that the hearers of the portan- 
tini all belonged to a village, Vcttici, some miles up 
the mountain—^that when these were wanted they 
were sent for the previous evening—locked up all 
night at Amalfi, to prevent them from being enticed 
away, I don’t why or by whom. We were told that 
we had aiTived too late to get these men ; that vre 
must engage some of the town’s-people. We ought 
to have four bearers to each chair; thirty men came 
forward to claim the employment—and the polizin. 
begged us to choose twelve from among them. My 
friends w'cnt to the polizia for this ])urj)Ose—^the 
scene was highly comic. Thirty men vociferating, 
insisting, supplicating—eager. Among these was 
the master of the boat who W'as to take us to isalcrno, 
and his three sous—they were evidently respectable 
men, and at once selected—but among the rest 
who could choose ? My friends could only laugh; 
they pointed out a dozen as possessing the best 
]>hysi(>guomics. 

We were to set out early, and therefore retired 
early. Night scarcely veiled the sea. The quay 
had been busy all day, lading ships with grain; seve¬ 
ral parties of men were still at work. It was a lively 
scene compared with the quiet of the Cocumella, 
yet so imlike w'ere the tiny barks in the offing, 
and appearance of the men at work, lading and 



AND ITALY. 


289 


xmlading vessels, from anything one is aeeustomeil 
to that the ancient times of Magna Grsecia, when, 
the busy ports sent com to Rome, occurred; «r 
rather, I confess, that with me another associati' ii 
was awakened. When excited, the mind is' apt to 
recur to tlie impressions of childliooil—like sym¬ 
pathetic ink exposed to fire—the covert but not 
expunged jiictures which the soul first received, 
revive and become visible. Lrs Avmtures dp. TeU- 
mnqae recurred to my mind. I was haunted by tin- 
description therein givim of the busy sca-j)orts of 
Tyi-(! and Crete. The. broad luminous .s(?a before, 
the jutting headlands, the not inharmonious cries of 
the men at work, the freepu-.nt tread of their feet, 
formed a soi' of picture w'hich it seemed to me 1 
had .seen in childhood drawn by the pen of Ft-nehm. 
J went to sleep while it still flitted, as it were, 
beneath my closed eyelids. 

The morrow came, and with it our guide, our 
chairs, our bearers—such a crowd. The thirty men 
had been disputing all night as to which among 
them had been chosen; the conclusion they came to 
was, that they would all go. Travellers often (J 
among the number) have had the whole pleasure 
of an excursion marred by si struggle with guides, 
muleteers, &c. It is often necessary to contest a 
thousand points, and to resist exactions, and the 


VOL. II. 


o 



290 RAMBLES IN GERMANY 

temper gets soured, and the dhine influence of 
natui'e on tlie. mind is marred. I was determined 
that 1 would not lose the pleasure I might snatch 
during my hasty visit- to the outskirts of Calabria, 
by toniientirig myself with these ])cople; for being 
the one of our party most conversant with Italian, 
the. brunt of the battle, must fall upon me. I made 
up my mind at once that these fellows should have 
their way, and 1 would be entertained instead of 
annoyed by evaetions of all kinds. 

We had our guide—an erect old man, lotjuacious 
enough, with a Acry amusing assumi)ti()u of dignity 
toAA’ards the other men. \l’e had our tliirty bearers, 
and in addition (recommended by the police, to 
keep so large a band in order) tAvo jjolice-offieers, 
Avith unloaded muskets and eartouchc-boxes innoctmt 
of ammunilicm. Eight nutn devoted thernseK-es to 
my chair—the b(^st of the number, I belicA’C; and 
away avc went, up the rocky path through the ravine, 
’beside the torrent, benciith the chesnut v aods, 
climbing higher and higher up the mountain-side, 
the bright golden morning sun flinging long shadows 
from the hills. 

ITie sccnerj' is quite unlike Sorrento; as far as 
earth is concerned, it is far more sublime. The 
mountains are loftier, and more picturesque, parted 
by deeper and wider ravines, terminated in abrupter 



AND ITALY. 


2»1 


peaks, their sides rlothed by magnificent*forc.st-trecs; 

and when we reached a summit and looked around 

• 

-travellers visit Switzerland and speak of the 

sublime works of creation among seas of ipe and 
avalanches and towering Aljis, bare and craggy, 

crested with perpetual snow; there, nature is sub- 

» 

lime, but she shows the jiowcr and the will to harm; 
here she is gracious as well as glorious; she is 
our friend, or rather our exalted and munificent 
queen and benefactress.* 

* “ that moment 1 wati imt fully fcnsihlc tif tlio vast Biijicrionty 
of the Italian lundscapCB over all others. Swit/irland nstonislicfi, and 
it even ufUm delights; hut Italian iiatiiro wiiia upon you iiiili] yon 
come to love it as a fricntl. i can only liken the ])eifcctioti of tlic 
Bcoue wc gazctl HjKHi tliis evening tt) a feeling alnntst allied to tniiis]tort; 
to the maiiiit't in tvliieli wc dwell upon tiic serene expression of a 
belovetl and lively :onntcnanrt*. Oilier scenes have ilie lints, the 
Lucs, the outlittes, the proportions, tho grandeur, ati<l even the softness 
of beauty ; but these have the character timl marks the existence of a 
soul. Tho eirect is to pour a flood of H'usatioiis on the mind, tliut are 
distinct from tlie eommoncr feelings of wonder that me excited by 
vastness and magnifircnce. T\\t refinement of Italian nature appears 
to die^Mnguisii it as murli from that of other countries, as the quality dii« 
tiuguishes the scene of sentiment and intellect from the man of mere 
interests. In sublimity of a certain sort-—more especially in the 
snbiimity of desolation, Switzerland probably has no equal on earth ; 
and {icrhaps to this may be added a certain unearthly asjicct which the 
glaciers assume in jiarticular conditions of the atmosphere ; but these 
Italian scenes lisc to a sublimity of a difierciit kinds, which, though it 
docs not awe, leaves behind it a tender sensation allied to that of love. 

I can conceive even an ardent admirer of nature wearying in time of 
the grandeur of the Alps ; but I cun scarce imagine one who could ever 
tire of the witchery of Italy.”—C. F. Cooper; ** Kxcursions in Italy.** 
Vol. I.; Letter XIV. 



292 


RAMBLES IN GERMANY 


From the height of Ravello we gazed on a wide 
and various panorama of vale and mountain, spread 
in picturesque and infinite variety around ^ deep 
below was a sunny beach, shut in by steep head¬ 
lands, and a placid, wide-spread southern sea, bask¬ 
ing in the normtide heat. The cathedral of llavello 
is an ancient, venerable edifice. In the sacristy were 
some old paintings of what may be called the sera¬ 
phic school, such as I had admired at Florence. 
Saints, whose countenances show that they are 
blessed; virgins, whose gentleness is full of majesty, 
whose humility is that of one who, placing herself 
last, shall be first. Since those days men have lost 
the power of portraying the passion of adoration 
in the countenance. Either in venerable age or 
beautiful youth, wliat specimens there arc in the 
first painters of great and good beings absorbed by 
grateful, joyful worship of the greatest and best of 
all. One of the most charming of the pictures at 
Ravello was an Annunciation;—^thc beaming sweet¬ 
ness of the angel, the chaste joy of Mary, spread a 
halo over the canvas. They told us that an Eng¬ 
lishman had wished to buy these pictures, but the 
Bishop had very properly refused to qpmmit the 
sacrilege of selling them. 

The unclouded sun shone hotly above; there was 
a breeze, however, and the landscape showed green 



AND ITALY. 


293 


and fresh. Sometimes our numerous party were 
clamorous among one another, disputing how theii; 
pay should be shared; when the confusion grew 
high, our old guide—sovereign over all in his (>'vn 
conceit—cried, “Silnnziof sihnzio!” in an authori¬ 
tative voice, and the stream of sound wa.s, for a 
moment, checked. They were all well-behaved to¬ 
wards us. We asked our good-natured sbirri, with 
their harmless guns, whetlier there were any ban¬ 
ditti now in Calabria? .Ml, they assured us, was 
safe and (|uict; or if there was any disturhanee, they 
were sent, and order w as^rcstored—by what means 
1 cannot guess, except that the aspects of these men 
were j)eeuliarly jilacid and p(;aceful. 

The desvjnt was very ])re,cij)itous, mueb of it 
being down Higlit after flight of steep steps, cut in 
the rock. It w'as far too warm and fatiguing to 
think of walking, and rather frightful to be carried 
down. However, by turning the chair, and riding 
backwards, we g()t through it without much alarm. 

The Ponente had risen as we reached the beach. 
The sea sparkled fresh and free. The boat was 
large and commodious. The master-boatman had 
a great sense of his own respectability and thac of 
his sons, and of the excellence of his vessel. He 
spoke his owm praises in a sonorous voice, keeping 
time to his speech with the strokes of his oar:— 



294 


RAMBI.es in GERMANY 


“ Saretc contcnti di me. Signori. Jo aono un’ 
galant’ uomo: mici figli sono galant’ uoinini: la 
mia barca e buona c bella. Tutti i Signori forcsticri 
sono content! di me.'’ • 

As soon as we had made something of an offing, 
the sails wers set, and we changed our marinaro’s 
rhapsody of self-eulogy to some national airs sung 
by his sons. Tffiiir voices were good, and our 
navigation was prosperous and pleasant. 

We were thoroughly tired out when we arrived 
at Salerno, which is less picturesquely situated than 
Amalfi, the shore around being low. When Amalfi 
was a great commercial sea-port, the metdieal school 
of Salerno was famous for its knowledge of the healing 
art. The students went to study in Arabia and Spain j 
and they returned to their native town to dispense, 
among crowds of rich and noble patients, the 
treasures of their skill. Salerno in those days was 
regarded as illustrious among the cities of modern 
Italy—^tbe women were beautiful, and the men 
were honest; thus Gibbon transcribes the praise of 
William of Apulia— 

Urbs lintii non est bac delitiosor iirbe : 

Frugibui:, arborilnis, viooque rcduiidat; et unde 
Nun tibi ponia, nurcs, nun pulchra palatia desunt 
Nun species muUebris abest prubitasque virorum.’* 

But we saw less of the remnants of this magni- 



AND ITALY. 


295 


licence than even of Amalfi, for we arrived fatigued ; 
and after a few houi's’ repose and dinner, \vc set 
out in a carriage lioincwards. We drove throngli 
a beautiful valley towai'ds jCastelamare, betwf*n 
wooded hills. There is a vci’y pretty hotel at 
Cava, where travellers often remain several wci;ks. 
1 should jircfer, however, the sea-shore at Amalfi. 
Castelaniare is a busy tmvii on the Ix'aeh, in the 
v(;ry dejith '■*’ the bay. Numbers of villas are seat- 
tered • .r the wooded sides of the moinitaiiis and 
t* ough the shady valley. There is a good railroad 
to Naj)les : the distance, rather more than twenty 
miles, is performed- in about an hour and a half. 
Castelaniare is a more fashionable risor! :lian 
Sornmto. The villas are more tiuinerous and more 
elegant; the rides more diversified; the inter- 
cour.se with the ciipital easier. It is not so well 
suited for a short stay, for the hotels arc all in 
the midst of a noi.sy town; and the villas, which 
let at a high jirice, can only be taken for the 
sca.son—six, or at .least, four months. On the other 
hand, for excursions on the sea, Sorrento is very 
far to be preferred. Castelamare, at the depth 
of the bay, affords only a small lake-like basin for 
boating. To view' the .shores, or visit the islands, 
east or west, you must first reach Sorrento or 
Naples. In the former, you seem happily placed. 



296 UAMBLES IN GERMANY. 

as in a centre, to diverge at will in excursions on 
the water. Sorrento is in every way cheaper and 
more practicable for those who arc not rich. 

The road from Cestclamare to Sorrento, about 
twenty-miles, is excellent, constructed on the edge 
of the cliffs overhanging the sea. As we ])roeee,ded 
we gladly bailed our r(!tnru to a familiar scene, and 
welcomed \ arious gliiiipses of views which wc; looked 
on as peculiarly our own. We })assed Vico—half¬ 
way—and then turning the shoulder of a headland, 
rattled down towards the populous plain of Sorrento 
—with its many villages, its orange gardens and 
sheltering hills—and reacKed our quiet hotel, where 
we were gladly welcomed. The Cocumella has 
become a home—it is a joy to niturn to our terrace, 
to breathe the fragrance of the orange-llowers—to 
sec the calm sea spread out at our feet, as we look 
over the bay to Naples—while above us bends 
a sky—in whose pure depths ship-like clouds glide 
—and the moon hangs luminous, a pendant sphen- 
of silver fire. 


the end. 


VOItooK: 

Sft^BVEt AND BTAEB, rSIXTXBf, WSXTBrSIABS.